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Fugitive Histories

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Githa Hariharan has written novels, short fiction and essays over the last three decades. Her hig... Read More

Product Description

Githa Hariharan has written novels, short fiction and essays over the last three decades. Her highly acclaimed work includes The Thousand Faces of Night which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in 1993, the short story collection The Art of Dying, the novels The Ghosts of Vasu Master, When Dreams Travel, In Times of Siege, Fugitive Historiesand I Have Become the Tide, and a collection of essays Almost Home: Cities and Other Places. She has also written children's stories, edited a collection of translated short fiction, A Southern Harvest, and the essay collection From India to Palestine: Essays in Solidarity, and co-edited Battling for India: A Citizen's Reader.

Hariharan has, over the years, been a cultural commentator through her essays, lectures and activism. For more on this Delhi-based author and her work, visit

A prophetic and incisive novel on the persisting fault lines between communities
Remembering her late husband, Asad, Mala relives the heady days of love and optimism they had shared, while she struggles to understand how the world around them has changed so radically. Their daughter, Sara, embarks on a journey that takes her to Ahmedabad, where-across a lately created 'border'-she meets Yasmin, a survivor of mayhem. Together, Sara and Yasmin search for the future, for hope, amid lives caught in a mesh of memory and anguish.

Marked by an astonishing clarity of observation and deep compassion, Fugitive Histories exposes the legacy of prejudice that continues to erupt into hatred and violence in present-day India.

Her prose [has] an exquisite awareness . . . the daily lives of individuals and those of history appear to blur and seep through time and memory till [they] become all of a piece. It's a measure of Hariharan's tenacity as a writer that even while moving from the very same cut-rate story of communal hate and horror that has been played so many times in the media by social activists and documentary film-makers, she is able to colour it with her own brand of fierce integrityAn unblinking look at subtle and not-so-subtle religious and cultural prejudices: a compassionate, controlled, compelling narrativeSpartan, elegant and nuanced prose . . . deftly weaves political events into private lives . . . At times lyrical, at times luminous and sharply perceptive, Fugitive Histories is perhaps Hariharan's most mature work to dateA powerful read . . . about people bewilderingly adrift, trying to find a place, a reason . . . once the very foundations of their lives have been betrayed; about a nationalism that needs to be more human, this is a quiet, powerful churning in which the whole heavy weight of history comes to rest on you, asking of you an engagementTo Githa Hariharan's great credit, she looks unflinchingly into the ugliness of sectarian destructiveness and strife with an almost photographically realistic lens, but always remains within earshot of her protagonists' small, personal voices . . . As subtly constructed as a Chinese box, concealing narratives within narratives and yet remaining blindingly clear in all its exposition of public and private realities. Complex though it is, Fugitive Histories is Hariharan's most compellingly simple bookThere are many compelling stories wrapped in the pages of Fugitive Histories but none more so than Yasmin's. The revisiting of life in Gujarat after 2002, and Yasmin's story, in particular, draws you to Githa Hariharan's powerful new novel like little else. Before we get to Yasmin, the writer holds up a mirror to other aspects of society, not least the purpose of artMultiple narratives . . . constantly shifting from present to past, seamlessly connecting the two . . . effortless straddling of different geographies. . . . Delightfully nuanced . . . strong political undertones . . . deft use of strong metaphorsSparkling clear prose . . . lays bare disturbing truths . . . a distressing but redemptive bookMemory mingles with documentary, and personal histories become the filter through which public record is viewed . . . Hariharan's writing in spare, punctuated with passages of brilliant clarity and compassion

Product Details

Title: Fugitive Histories
Author: Githa Hariharan
SKU: BK0466306
EAN: 9780143423676
Binding: Paperback

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