New Delhi [India], December 17 (ANI/PRNewswire): HarperCollins Publishers India is delighted to announce that it has acquired the Indian Subcontinent publishing rights to Anindita Ghose's debut novel The Illuminated, an astonishing work of the imagination that is certain to become the literary publishing sensation of 2021.
The Illuminated is a superbly nuanced, intricately detailed work of fiction that revolves around two women - Shashi and Tara, a mother and a daughter, whose lives unravel in the wake of a family tragedy.
In a world marked by a rising tide of religious fundamentalism that seems determined to put women in their place, Shashi and Tara must find the strength to realize their individual ambitions and project a way forward that is of their own choosing.
The Illuminated is as sophisticated in the quality of its prose as it is in the detailing of a closely observed reality and the eventual creation of a richly imagined mindscape. Its thematic focus on questions of identity and its sharp insights on society and relationships speaks hauntingly to the current times.
It is a remarkable novel of ideas that recalls the works of some of the great storytellers of the present time, from Amitav Ghosh to Jhumpa Lahiri, and marks the arrival of a tremendous new literary talent.
HarperCollins India will publish The Illuminated in July 2021.
"We are hugely excited to have acquired, in a hotly contested auction, the publishing rights to Anindita Ghose's brilliant novel The Illuminated. Rarely in recent times have I come across writing that is so evocative, characters that are so memorably defined, and a fictional world that is so engaging and relatable as those that I encountered in the pages of Anindita's wonderful book. This is a book for our times, and Anindita's is a fantastic new literary voice that will have readers captivated. The Illuminated will be one of the absolute highlights of our publishing list for the coming year," said Udayan Mitra, Publisher - Literary at HarperCollins India.
"As a journalist and as a writer of fiction, the idea of multiple perspectives has been of specific interest to me. The characters in The Illuminated have wildly divergent worldviews and they must explore the full spectrum of possibilities - and perhaps the full spectrum of truth - to arrive at their own source of light," said Anindita Ghose.
"The world around us is changing so rapidly that certain elements in the story that were only speculative when I started writing are now close to reality - and I can't wait to see how readers respond to the book," Anindita added.
"As I emerge from being immersed in Hegel and Sanskrit poetry, I'm thrilled that my debut novel has found such enthusiastic champions at HarperCollins India," Anindita further said.
About the Book
The Illuminated begins with the sudden death of Robi Mallick, a renowned architect, which upends the lives of two remarkable women: his wife Shashi, and their spirited daughter Tara, an ambitous young Sanskrit scholar.
In the emptiness wrought by mourning, Shashi, who thought she had her life well sketched, is alarmed to realize that although she was devoted to her husband, their relationship was not what it seemed; overnight, she seems to have lost her life's moorings. Meanwhile Tara, fiercely independent and individualistic, has been drawn inexorably into a passionate involvement with an older man, a public figure - a complex relationship that threatens to consume her in ways she did not imagine possible.
As their lives seem to teeter out of orbit, Shashi and Tara begin to drift further apart at a time when they need each other the most. The two women harbour very different worldviews, and the novel is unafraid of exploring the tensions between these opposing perspectives. With the world around them changing rapidly amidst a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and unprecented radical movements, it becomes all the more urgent for Shashi and Tara to find strength in each other's differences. But is it possible to emerge out of an eclipse unscathed?
About the Author
Anindita Ghose was until recently the Editor of the award-winning Saturday magazine Mint Lounge, and has previously been the Features Director of Vogue India. She is an alumnus of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in New York and has a Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Mumbai. In 2019, she was awarded the Hawthornden Castle Fellowship in rural Scotland, where the manuscript of The Illuminated was completed. She lives in Mumbai.
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