The story of Listening Now takes place before the events of Appachana’ s 2023 critically acclaimed novel, Fear and Lovely.
Mallika, a child given to weaving, is convinced that the lives of the mothers around her are dull and devoid of passion and fantasizes romantic love. The truth, which lies at the heart of this story, is completely different. Her mother, Padma, her mother’ s sister, Shanta, her mother’ s two friends, Madhu and Anu, and her grandmother, Rukmini, all hold wrenching secrets; their complex lives and longings are beyond the child Mallika’ s comprehension. Set in 1950s and 1960s, this story encompasses the lives of two generations of women in a small, New Delhi neighbourhood, where conventional lives are lived on the surface, while below, secrets seethe— threatening to destroy everything that has been so carefully constructed to accommodate society’ s structures and expectations. Rendered through six points of view, Listening Now captures the voices of these women; the spoken conversations as well as all that remains in the realm of silence. Shortlisted for the Crossword Prize when it was first published in 1998, Listening Now holds readers in its embrace from the very first line.
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|31 January 2024