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In a remote town in the Himalaya, Maya tries to put behind her a time of great sorrow. By day she teaches in a school and at night she types up drafts of a magnum opus by her landlord, a relic of princely India known to all as Diwan Sahib. Her bond with the eccentric scholar and her friendship with a village girl, Charu, seem to offer her the chance of a new life in Ranikhet, where lush hills meet clear skies. As Maya finds out, no refuge is remote or small enough. The world she has come to love, where people are connected with nature, is endangered by the town’s new administration. The impending elections are hijacked by powerful outsiders who sow division and threaten the future of her school. Charu begins to behave strangely, and Maya soon understands that a new boy in the neighbourhood may be responsible for changes in her friend. When Diwan Sahib’s nephew arrives to set up his trekking company on their estate, she is drawn to him despite herself, but his disappearances into the mountains evoke painful echoes of the past. By turns poetic, elegiac and comic, The Folded Earth is a many-layered and powerful narrative about characters struggling with their pasts – a novel that poignantly reveals the strange shapes that India’s religious and social conflicts can assume even on distant mountain tops.
About The Author
Anuradha Roy was educated in Calcutta and Cambridge. She has worked as a publisher and a journalist and is now an editor at Permanent Black. She was the winner of the Picador-Outlook Non-fiction Prize in 2004 and her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, was shortlisted for the Crossword Award and has been translated into thirteen languages across the world. The Folded Earthis its eagerly awaited successor.
|Number of Pages||272 Pages|
This novel is beautifully written, and if you just want to enjoy some nice writing and imagery, it might just take you along to the end. But, after a somewhat engaging first few chapters, I could take it or leave it. It's not that "nothing happens" - stuff does - but does it matter? Not enough, since it's all been done before and much better and more powerfully in other novels. This novel is partly one of societal manners in a hill station (Ranhikhet) and part pastoral (lots of grazing cows), which is all well and good, but the characters are inconsequential, even the main one. There's no 'oomph' here and if it's meant to be a deep novel of interiority, it lacks depth there. Disappointing considering the New York Times review and the gorgeous cover.
The story is set in the Himalayan town of Ranikhet where Maya lives along with Diwan Sahib and Charu, the peasant girl. Everything changes when Diwan Sahib’s nephew arrives to set up his trekking company there. Gradually, Maya faces bitter truths and the world is never the same again for her. The descriptions of the Himalayan beauty and the life in the surrounding areas are magical.