A striking new collection of short fiction from the award-winning author of Kintsugi, Daura and Bhaunri.
A young girl who forms a curiously intimate friendship with a bat...
A man whose life is wrecked by an unsightly big toe...
A teenager who will go to any lengths to have her stepfather to herself...
The stories in The Blue Women paint vivid portraits of people's lives as they encounter the strange and the enigmatic - whether it is other people, creatures, nature, the inanimate, or themselves. With rare insightfulness, Anukrti Upadhyay shines a light on the fractures and fears, the prejudices and wounds, the desires and memories that inhabit the deepest recesses of her characters' psyches.
Original and gripping, these are stories that will worm their way deep into your heart and mind.
Praise for Anukrti Upadhyay
'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 character's 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 chiselled 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
Daura and Bhaunri
'Anukrti Upadhyay's novels are small wonders - transporting you to old worlds and new. I was transfixed by her language, sharp yet pliable, her attention to detail, and her ability to conjure the lost, the spoken, the less tangible, keeping always close the mystery at the heart of loving a person, a place.' - JANICE PARIAT, author of The Nine-Chambered Heart
'Tales within tales ... [Daura and Bhaunri] stand firmly on foundations slippery with all things human - love, raw jealousy, anger, a kalavant's music ... The novels are lifted by their language and characters; the former blends authentic terms with the telling and the latter never serve as caricatures ... In both, there is an understanding of patriarchy and the rising above of it in satisfactory telling ... Among the heat and dust, millet and anklets, clay griddle and flute, here are militant brides and princesses no human eye can see.' - SHINIE ANTONY, The New Indian Express
'Simple, charming and poetic ... rich in imagery and lyrical prose.' - Hindustan Times
'Luminous ... The magical and the mundane come together beautifully in Anukrti Upadhyay's novellas.' - Mint