An Atlas of Impossible Longing Summary and Reviews

An Atlas of Impossible Longing

A Novel

by Anuradha Roy

An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy X
An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy
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Book Summary

On the outskirts of a small town in Bengal, a family lives in solitude in their vast new house. Here, lives intertwine and unravel. A widower struggles with his love for an unmarried cousin. Bakul, a motherless daughter, runs wild with Mukunda, an orphan of unknown caste adopted by the family. Confined in a room at the top of the house, a matriarch goes slowly mad; her husband searches for its cause as he shapes and reshapes his garden.

As Mukunda and Bakul grow, their intense closeness matures into something else, and Mukunda is banished to Calcutta. He prospers in the turbulent years after Partition, but his thoughts stay with his home, with Bakul, with all that he has lost - and he knows that he must return.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Roy is especially good at sensory description, making the sounds, smells, and feel of Bengal come vividly to life. Cultures may differ, but longing and love are universal." - Publishers Weekly

"Humorous passages, colorful descriptions, and a sprinkling of native words blend to concoct a poetic novel easily read again and again. A complete success and an excellent choice for a discussion group." - Library Journal

"Recalls classics from Great Expectations to The Cherry Orchard... a voice that is so distinctly Roy's own, you'd think she'd been doing this for decades... Roy's prose is luscious yet economical. Capturing the rhythms of life in rural backwater and big city alike, she strings together jewel-like episodes, skipping across decades and defining historical events in mere sentences, and giving her story the quality of something remembered. Incidental characters are conjured with an almost Dickensian alacrity." - The National Newspaper

"Roy's prose does not hit a single wrong note: its restrained beauty sings off the page." - Time Magazine

"A story to lose yourself in... Anuradha Roy is a wonderful writer... this tale of three generations of an Indian family, set over the span of the 20th century, is brilliantly told [and] intensely moving." - Sunday Express (UK)

"A lyrical love letter to India's past... Poetic and evocative. Roy's writing is a joy." - Financial Times (UK)

This information about An Atlas of Impossible Longing 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

Name Pronunciation
Anuradha Roy: AH-nuh-rahd-ha

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