‘When the light shifts, you see the world differently.’
A superbly nuanced work of fiction, Anindita Ghose’s first novel The Illuminated revolves around two women: Shashi and Tara. After the sudden death of her celebrated husband, Shashi is alarmed to realize that overnight, she has lost her life’s moorings. Meanwhile, their fiercely independent daughter Tara, a Sanskrit scholar, has been drawn into a passionate involvement with an older man, which threatens to consume her in ways she did not imagine possible.
Amidst a rising tide of religious fundamentalism in India that is determined to put women in their place, Shashi and Tara attempt to look at themselves, and at each other, in a new light. But is it possible to emerge from an eclipse unscathed?
An astonishing feat of the imagination, The Illuminated is as sophisticated in the quality of its prose as it is provocative in its thematic focus on questions of identity. A remarkable novel of ideas, it marks the arrival of a tremendous new literary talent.
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Fourth Estate India
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