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The Folded Earth

An evocative and deeply moving tale of a young woman making a new life for herself amid the foothills of the Himalaya. Desperate to leave a private tragedy behind, Maya abandons herself to the rhythms of the little village, where people coexist peacefully with nature. But all is not as it seems, and she soon learns that no refuge is remote enough to keep out the modern world. When power-hungry politicians threaten her beloved mountain community, Maya finds herself caught between the life she left behind and the new home she is determined to protect.
Elegiac, witty, and profound by turns, and with a tender love story at its core, The Folded Earth brims with the same genius and love of language that made An Atlas of Impossible Longing an international success.

Winner: The Economist Crossword Prize
Winner: The 2012 Listen Up Awards from The Publisher's Weekly, New York (audio book)
Winner: Best Fiction & Classics Audiobook, Earphones Award
The Man Asian Literary Prize 2011 (longlist)
DSC Fiction Prize (longlist) 
The Hindu Literary Award 2011 (shortlist)

1. English (INDIA): Hachette
2. English (UK): MacLehose Press/ Quercus
3. English (USA) Free Press
4. English (audio book): Dreamscape
5. Norwegian: Vigmostad and Bjørke
6. Romanian: Humanitas
7. Spanish: Salamandre
8. Croatian: Fraktura
9. French: Actes Sud
10. Arabic: Dar al Adab
11. Turkish: Pegasus
12. Polish: Sonia Draga

“Roy sorts out the love knots with a touch that is both bold and gentle, but the bigger delight of the book is its intimate, comic glimpse into everyday life in a small hill town… Roy brings the mountains alive not only in their floral, incandescent glory but also in their moodiness and nonchalance.” THE NEW YORKER

"This is a worthy successor to Anuradha Roy's first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing. Her narrative is poised and her language precise and poetic, without being flamboyant...I was captivated by The Folded Earth and swept into its narrative.. a story about love and hate, continuity and change, loss and grief in a convincing and memorable setting"

"This understated, finely observed book expresses a haunting vision. A writer to watch." 
"The novel examines loss, yearning, seemingly inconsequential actions, culpability, rationale and the frailty of human existence, from a refreshingly simple perspective. As we are introduced to Maya’s microcosm... there is familiarity and recognition as all of these people exist in our lives as well. They are our friends, confidants, relatives, acquaintances and help. The dynamic the writer weaves between these all-too-real characters is instantly identifiable and at times frighteningly real"

"A powerful piece of fiction that weaves together history and politics, tugging at the heartstrings while reveling in the hope that comes at the end of a difficult journey...This elegiacal novel of love, loss and personal identity is a stunning achievement for this rising star of Indian literary fiction"

"Just as she had in An Atlas of Impossible Longing,, Anuradha Roy displays a strong literary gift of blending psychology with nature. It is a beautiful book that shouldn’t be missed" 

"Anuradha Roy... has lifted The Folded Earth far above the dangers of cliche, both with the shimmering beauty of her prose and the effortless manner in which she unfurls a tale rich in warmth and humour, yet never straying far from its delicate, dark heart...a beautiful book that will not leave you until long after the final page." 

"Quietly mesmerizing novel... It’s the inherent conflict in human attraction — the inescapable fact that all people remain at heart unknown, even to those closest to them — that forms the spine of the novel."

"Tender and comical"

"Presents every single scene with such completeness of visual, auditory and olfactory detail that the reader becomes almost a participant without dialogue and not just an eavesdropper. Indeed, there is a gentle perfection to the way Roy writes — unhurriedly but with soft precision, using words and phrases that are so apt they almost do not register separately, fusing form and content flawlessly"

"Carefully observed story of separation, loss, and resourcefulness... an elegant marriage of psychology and nature... reminiscent of the great R. K. Narayan's poignant tales of rural India."
MS Magazine

"Roy is brilliant in etching out Maya's stark solitude and seething aches within, which immediately endear this shockingly young widow to the reader...culminates in a gripping climax that leaves the reader with a poignant yearning for lost loves and sweet revenge"

“The writing, in English, hums with Indian life, rich and comic. The idiosyncratic prose is elegant and intense. Highly recommended"

"THE FOLDED EARTH resembles a cobweb sparkling in the hedgerow at sun-up: it is spun as if overnight and with apparent ease, but in fact it is created with exquisite skill. Anuradha Roy is a formidable novelist: reading her elegiac but comic narrative lifts the spirit and brightens the day"

"A jewel of a story ‎"A brilliant read...thought-provoking stories are not to be found by the dozen, and The Folded Earth is that much more valuable for the flair with which it has been written"

"From its inspired title to its tactilely enticing cover, Anuradha Roy’s second novel demands the reader pause, slow down, savor this work... I hear echoes of Anita Brookner and Edna O’Brien and other writers like them as Roy brings her Maya and her travails to life. Roy does so without slipping into that dreaded category “women’s fiction.” Roy writes beautifully, and because she does this is not a novel that can be read in a rush. "

"Roy’s writing is a celebration of the senses in exquisite descriptive prose. Her narrative has that “just-right” feel with not an inch of flab; though it is crafted in brilliance, it does not intimidate the reader with an artificial density that is classified as “literary” these days. Yet, Roy’s prose is layered and she often uses her descriptions to convey the progress of her story in an unobtrusive way. One reads with delight an interesting plot, which unfolds at a deliberate pace, and, above all, has a classic touch"

"Anuradha's ability to seamlessly place the private lives of her characters within a larger socio-political setting is what she carries into her second book [as well] the end of the Folded Earth you feel a firm belief in the redemptive qualities of life and love"

"Even minor characters are evoked with inventive idiosyncrasy...tight with life"

"Anuradha Roy writes delicately chiselled prose. It takes time to take in the details but by the end of the book Ranikhet is no longer a hill resort. It is more than the sum of its rambling mansions, its bazaars and the distant snow peaks"

"Poignant and subtle in its storytelling...the story of love and sorrow told in poetic prose"

‎"The Folded Earth is pure pleasure, that old fashioned sort of novel in which one can immerse oneself; an absolute treat"

"Comic and shrewd and nasty in leaps and spirals, The Folded Earth negotiates passion and pain, hate and hauteur with a deftness of narrative skill that is distinctly acrobatic"

"a deeply unsettling but beautiful novel... utterly enrapturing... with incredibly touching moments...Her elegiac tone also means that Roy engages with longstanding debates, for instance the detachment of formal politics from the ‘real world’, the divisiveness of Hindu nationalism and the destruction of the environment, in a truly human and emotive way...The Folded Earth constantly grapples with grandiose themes almost effortlessly... Roy’s writing remains gently poignant and metaphoric throughout, every vignette and scenario she constructs feels multi-layered and deeply meaningful."
For Book's Sake

"Roy has an admirably restrained style and her novel offers a vivid evocation of north India. She conjures up striking images with the lightest of touches"

"A perfect treat after the hurly-burly of Christmas, this quiet, poetic tale entices you into the foothills of the Himalayas Anuradha Roy won much acclaim for her first novel.The Folded Earth, a remarkably assured work, is her second novel and filled with beautifully crafted prose...The whole is marked by an elegant restraint which serves to make the story all the more powerful."

"Roy’s precise prose creates the atmosphere of the hill town perfectly, and the characters are memorable and convincing. Many of the scenes are almost poetic, and some are heartbreaking... This is a book about love, loss, conflict and change, captivating and beautifully written. I recommend it to individual readers and reading groups. Five stars." 
Newbooks Mag

"The Folded Earth is a book you will hold close to your chest long after the last page is turned"

"a beautiful story of trying to get over the hill from the past to the present. No matter how difficult Maya's life becomes, her strength and determination to push forward is an inspiring one... A good read to experience new culture and way of life"

"A fourth Bronte sister surfaces in the form of The Folded Earth... eminently readable, a literary novel that feels timeless and authentic."

"wry sketches of local politics (one official erects signs all over the town bearing such salutary slogans as "Walk in Nature Zone, It is Health Prone"), as well as for her quietly ecstatic flights into nature lyricism"

"If you, like me, expect to be cheated out of the Himalayas again this summer, I recommend Anuradha Roy’s second novel instead. Its pages are crowded with the small intense pleasures of a long trek, to be recalled years later with unbearable yearning by a veined stone, a fossil, a dry leaf. The pain of that intimacy acknowledges the imponderable: we rush to embrace the wilderness and dread the terror of being embraced by it. The Folded Earth embodies this paradox: it is a joyous novel about grief."

"Apart from capturing the sights, sounds and character of a hill station — Ranikhet in this case — she also uses the eccentricities of the locals to fashion a tale of great beauty and depth. What makes the setting more authentic is that she writes in familiar characters like Kipling and Corbett, Edwina Mountbatten and Nehru, into the plot to combine echoes of the Raj with heartbreak and nostalgia, love and loss. The tale delights as much for the allure of the writing as for its very hill-like twists and turns."

"Roy’s sentences are graceful and unhurried, matching the pace of the novel"

"Roy joins Allan Sealy, whose elegiac The Everest Hotel also asks: is the way of life in colonial hill stations falling apart as they grapple with inept modernity?... As with An Atlas of Impossible Longing, Roy unravels the small-town terrain with certitude. At one level, her prose is a dirge for the Kumaon hills. At another, a Pickwickian humour infuses it with robust charm."

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