All the Lives We Never Lived

All the Lives We Never Lived

Anuradha Roy

Original title: All the Lives We Never Lived
Publisher: MacLehose Press, 2018
Pages: 320 pages

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A novel that spans India’s twentieth century from the 1930s through Independence to the 1990s – by the Man Booker longlisted author of Sleeping on Jupiter.
”In my childhood, I was known as the boy whose mother had run off with an Englishman. The man was in fact German, but in small-town India in those days, all white foreigners were largely thought of as British.”
So begins the story of Myshkin and his mother Gayatri, its rebellious, alluring artist-heroine who is driven to abandon home and marriage and follow her primal instinct for freedom.
Freedom of another kind is in the air across all of India, and in Germany the Nazis have come to power. At this point of crisis, a German artist from Gayatri’s past seeks her out. His arrival ignites passions she has long been forced to suppress.
What follows is Gayatri’s life as pieced together by her son, a journey that takes him through India and Dutch-held Bali. Excavating the roots of the world in which he was abandoned, he comes to understand the connections between volcanic strife at home and a war-torn universe overtaken by patriotism.
The scale of Anuradha Roy’s novel is matched by its power as a parable for our times. Its depiction of the contrasting ideas of Gandhi and Tagore, of the limits of nationalism when confronted by cosmopolitanism, makes it a spell-binding saga centred on people trying to make sense of their lives.

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Anuradha Roy

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Photo: Mantovani

Anuradha Roy’s highly praised literary debut, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, is listed by World Literature Today as one of the essential books on India. Since its publication in 2008 it has received internationally recognition, and has been widely translated. Roy has won several literary awards for her second and third novels, The Folded Earth and Sleeping on Jupiter. Her fourth novel All the lives we never lived was published in June to wonderful reviews and has established Roy as one our important contemporary literary voices, playful, lively and sincere.

Roy is represented by Winje Agency in all the Nordic countries.

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