Undertow by Jahnavi Barua

Undertow by Jahnavi Barua is a work of fiction. The book hit the shelves on 19th February 2020. It has been published by Penguin Viking.

Loya is twenty-five: solitary, sincere, with restless stirrings in her heart. In an uncharacteristic move, she sets off on an unexpected journey, away from her mother, Rukmini, and her home in Bengaluru, to distant, misty Assam. She comes looking for her beloved Asian elephant, Elephas maximus, but also seeks someone else-her grandfather, Torun Ram Goswami, someone she has never met before. She arrives at the Yellow House on the banks of the Brahmaputra, where Torun lives, not knowing that her life is about to change.

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⁣Undertow was profiled by The Hindu today. While we try and take the middle path as far as reviews are concerned, not getting upset about bad ones , it is always nice to get a positive one. I was particularly glad because Undertow was locked down as soon as it appeared . So happy it is being noticed. ⠀ ⠀ This set me thinking . That old question cropped up. Why do we write ? Does a writer write with a reader in mind ? For praise ? For a good review? ⠀ ⠀ I found my own answer some time ago . I think . All my life, books and the written word have given me access to a world that while being virtual was exhilarating. There was so much I absorbed and saw in those worlds. And felt so connected to people .⠀ ⠀ I write to reciprocate that same connection , to be part of this scintillating world that is so complex, layered and beautiful. Through that to connect with people I would not have met otherwise, to see things I would not have been able to . ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #Undertow #penguinindia #TheHindu #indianwriters #writinglife #writingcommunity #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramindia #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #bibliophile #lockdown #covid19 #goodreads @penguinindia #champacabooks #crosswordbookstore #the_hindu

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Twenty-five years ago, Rukmini had been cast out of the family home by her mother, the formidable and charismatic Usha, while Torun watched silently. Loya now seeks answers, both from him and from the place that her mother once called home. In her quest, she finds an understanding not only of herself and her life but also of the precarious bonds that tie people together.

A delicate, poignant portrait of a family and all that it contains, Undertow becomes, in the hands of this gifted writer, an exploration of much more: home and the outside world, the insider and the outsider, and the ever-evolving nature of love itself.

About the Author

Jahnavi Barua is a writer based in Bengaluru. Her first book, Next Door, a collection of short fiction, was published by Penguin India in 2008 to wide critical acclaim. The second, a novel, Rebirth, was published in 2010 and shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Commonwealth Book Prize. Undertow is her third book. She was awarded the Charles Wallace Trust Fellowship for creative writing in 2006. Her books are on the syllabi of many universities and her short fiction has been widely anthologized.

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