"The longer we are denied what we took for granted, the more intensely we yearn for it." ( Published in Lit Hub and Indian Quarterly ) At the hour when, in pandemic times, sleep tends to thin or spin into nightmares, I felt one of my dogs climb into my bed last night. She placed herself against me so that she found the curve of my neck where she knows she can rest her head. This dog has trained me for five years, and not for nothing: although I was half-asleep, my hand reached out as if it had a life independent of my drowsiness, and my fingers began to run through her fur. With each movement of my fingers, her breathing deepened. So did mine. The nightmares receded, and we fell asleep together. Not long ago, we used to hug, kiss, stroke. We touched the feet of the elderly to show respect. They blessed us by resting their hands on our heads. Today, scenes in films that show people flying into each other’s arms at airports or sharing the same spoon at a café bring about a
Rights to the Chinese translation of All the Lives We Never Lived have been acquired by Horizon, one of the most prestigious literary publishers in China. They publish an exceptional list of authors, including Khaled Hosseini, Hermann Hesse, Orhan Pamuk, John Williams, Roberto Bolaño, Sara Gruen, and Sarah Waters. Not many Indian novels are translated into Chinese and it is even more unusual at a time when things are not too warm and loving on the Indo-Chinese border. It's good to see publishers refusing to let a few border disputes get in the way of their need to bring out what they value. The book has so far been translated into German (Luchterhand/Random House), French (Actes Sud), Romanian (Humanitas), and Russian (Azbooka Atticus). Other than UK (Maclehose Press) and India (Hachette India), other editions of the book have been published in the US (Atria/ Simon&Schuster), Sri Lanka (Perera Hussein), Large Print (Thorndike), Audiobook (Atria).