Broken things are precious too...
Kintsugi, named after the ancient Japanese art of mending broken objects with gold, is a novel about young women and men puzzling over the lines between love and desire, attachment and freedom. It is the story of Meena, rebellious and unexamined, and Yuri, as complex as Meena is naive; of Hajime, outsider to two cultures, and Prakash, unable to see beyond his limited horizons. It is also the story of Haruko who has dedicated herself to her art, and of Leela who is determined to learn the traditional craft of her community despite all sorts of obstacles.
Moving between Jaipur and Japan, Kintsugi follows the lives of these characters as they intersect and diverge, collide and break and join again in unexpected ways. The result is a novel of astonishing virtuosity - as profound as it is playful, and as emotionally moving as it is gripping.
'I was mesmerized by the quiet beauty of this novel. With a tender yet unflinching gaze, Anukrti Upadhyay tells us the stories of extraordinary young women who craft for themselves the lives that they desire, memorable characters who are shaped, but never defined, by their grief and heartbreak. Kintsugi is about many things - devotion, loyalty, ambition, and desire - but most of all, it is a novel about resilience and courage.' - AMRITA MAHALE, author of Milk Teeth
'I loved Kintsugi ... How the characters' connections/conjunctions never felt forced, kept surprising me; how the sentences weren't overwritten or straining for poetry, but also never bland or banal.' - DEBORAH SMITH, translator of The Vegetarian by Han Kang
'The finest novel I read in 2020 ... It gladdened my heart.' - KEKI DARUWALLA
'Delightful ... there's a certain quality to her writing that is both deep and light, very like the artistry of the jewellers that are the heart of this piece of writing.' - OMAIR AHMAD
'Kintsugi is a delicate work about the many ways the heart remakes itself, that like an ornament slowly being chiseled and laid takes time to reveal its final shape. Yet by its end ... its artistry is evident, and despite its title, seamlessly expressed.' - SHARANYA MANIVANNAN, author of The High Priestess Never Marries
'What a book! Mesmerizing ... delicate and deep.'- SHOBHAA DE
'Each character's individual presence is like a piece of life that comes together, melded gracefully by Upadhyay's writing. Her prose, spare and simple, takes shape delicately...' - Asian Review of Books
'A little gem ... Upadhyay's writing has restraint, poise and an understated charm, with no room for superfluity.' - Hindustan Times
'A rich, character-driven story that flows more or less linearly, and with a quiet beauty of language that seeks to work in aid of telling the story without drawing attention to itself. Read it for a little healing in these anxious times.' - Mint
'In Kintsugi, the author shows the extraordinary strength inherent in the lives of ordinary people if only they had the courage to tap into it without fear ... A novel that echoes with loneliness, loss, longing, and unfulfilled promises.' - Open
'The stories exist in a quiet zone ... there is more unsaid than said ... yet we are drawn into the lives of these six people almost immediately. And we are shown again and again, just how the human heart and its longings remain the same from person to person ... Easily one of the best books [of] 2020.' - The New Indian Express
'A beautifully crafted novel based on the central idea of "kintsugi" or the skill of joining fragmented bits with precious artistry, the quiet flow of emotions is richly nuanced. While the novel reads easily due to an engrossing plot line, the complex narrative is woven with finesse to leave no loose ends. The author builds a web of life that is authentic to the cultures but transcends them to reach towards a universal humanism. A remarkable feat in imaginative extension and also firmly grounded on cultural reality, this book holds a wide appeal for a global literary audience.' - THE SUSHILA DEVI AWARD 2021 JURY