The Earthspinner: Book summary and reviews of The Earthspinner by Anuradha Roy

The Earthspinner

A Novel

by Anuradha Roy

The Earthspinner by Anuradha Roy X
The Earthspinner by Anuradha Roy
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  • Publishes
    Jul 5, 2022
    224 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From the critically acclaimed, Booker Prize-nominated author of Sleeping on Jupiter and All the Lives We Never Lived, an incisive and moving novel about the struggle for creative achievement in a world consumed by growing fanaticism and political upheaval.

One night, Elango has a dream that consumes him, driving him to give it shape. The potter is determined to create a terracotta horse whose beauty will be reason enough for its existence. Yet he cannot pin down from where it has galloped into his mind. The Mahabharata? The Trojan horse legend? His anonymous potter-ancestors? Once it's finished, he does not know where his creation will belong. In a temple compound? Gracing a hotel lobby? Or should he gift it to Zohra, the woman he loves, yet despairs of ever marrying.

The astral, indefinable force driving Elango toward forbidden love and creation has unleashed other currents. He unexpectedly falls into a complicated relationship with a neighborhood girl who is beginning her bewildering journey into adulthood. He is suddenly adopted by a lost dog who steals his heart. While Elango's life is changing, the community around him is as well, but it is a transformation driven by inflammatory passions of a different kind. Here, people, animals, and even the gods live on a knife's edge and the consequences of daring to dream are cataclysmic.

Moving between India and England, The Earthspinner reflects the many ways in which the East and the West's paths converge and diverge in constant conflict. Anuradha Roy breathes new life into ancient myths, giving allegorical shape to the terrifying war on reason and the imagination waged by increasingly powerful forces of fanaticism. An epic that is a metaphor for our age, The Earthspinner is an intricate, wrenching novel about the transformed ways of loving and living in an increasingly uncertain world.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Roy delivers profound insights on the power of art ('Work with whatever earth you get,' Elango tells Sara. 'A potter knows how to do that'), the hideous nature of religious intolerance, and perhaps most sadly, the consequences of pursuing a dream. This is Roy's best to date." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Roy's multilayered novel evokes the craft of pottery with a gentle touch while rendering a moving depiction of the power of guilt." - Booklist (starred review)

"Like Roy's other novels, The Earthspinner uses dreamlike lyricism alongside even-handed description, giving its gradual accumulation of tension a mesmerizing cadence...With these various perspectives framing Elango's dreamlike tale, The Earthspinner is a kaleidoscopic glimpse into the fragile web of connections and ruptures, divine convergences and missed opportunities that make up life's unpredictable and breathtaking pattern." - Shelf Awareness

"A story of love, loss and longing; tradition, creation and destruction; and the invisible lines that divide humans, animals and the divine...a quiet, gentle work, never gratuitous...Intricate yet intimate, the novel allows imagination to fill the rest – as all good fiction should." - The Guardian (UK)

This information about The Earthspinner was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Anuradha Roy Author Biography

Photo: Rukun Advani

Anuradha Roy is the author of An Atlas of Impossible Longing, The Folded Earth, Sleeping on Jupiter, All the Lives We Never Lived, and Earthspinner. She is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the DSC Prize for Fiction, the Crossword Prize, and the Tata Book of the Year Award. She has been shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Man Asia Prize. Her books have been translated into more than 15 languages. In 2020, she was conferred the Nilimarani Sahitya Samman for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Literature. She works as a graphic designer at Permanent Black, an independent press she runs with Rukun Advani. She lives in Ranikhet, India.

Link to Anuradha Roy's Website

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