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THE EARTHSPINNER

WINNER OF THE SUSHILA DEVI BOOK AWARD 2022

SHORTLISTED FOR THE TATA LITERATURE LIVE! BOOK OF THE YEAR

SHORTLISTED FOR THE RABINDRANATH TAGORE LITERARY PRIZE

NOMINATED FOR THE WILBUR SMITH ADVENTURE WRITING PRIZE 

 

ONE OF MAY 2022's BEST PAPERBACKS IN THE GUARDIAN, UK

TOP TEN FICTION OF THE YEAR: THE HINDU

GQ'S 21 NOVELS THAT DEFINE THIS WILD YEAR

TOP NINE FICTION IN INDIA: THE TELEGRAPH 

OUTLOOK'S TOP TEN NOVELS OF THE YEAR

25 BEST FEMALE FICTION WRITERS: SHETHEPEOPLE

STARRED REVIEWS IN PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY AND BOOKLIST


SELECTED INTERVIEWS

Front Row on the BBC 

Conversation with John Freeman, hosted by Politics and Prose (Washington), Elliot Bay Bookstore (Seattle), and Literati (Michigan)


Watch | Roy speaks at length on communal hate, prejudice, art and love in a free-flowing chat that traverses topics with Mitali Mukherjee on The Wire

 
Georgina Godwin meets publisher Christopher MacLehose and acclaimed Indian author Anuradha Roy. MacLehose, a leader in translated literature in the UK, is reported to have brought works into English from 34 languages. He recently launched Mountain Leopard Press, which focuses on translation as well as contemporary literature. One of its lead titles is The Earthspinner, the fifth novel by Anuradha Roy. On Monocle Radio

FROM THE REVIEWS

"...this was just the beginning of what would become a complicated journey with the novel, leading me to a deep gratitude for this work...the novel feels like waking from a long, unsettling, unshakable dream. Yes, we understand it’s just a dream, but we also can’t help feeling the depth of a dream’s persuasion, the way certain truths might later clamber from the subconscious to the surface, changing us" Mira Jacob, New York Times

 "It is Roy’s ability to create perfectly formed characters – human, animal or terracotta – that gives this novel its unique quality. The Earthspinner is a love story, a political statement and a reflection on solitude, its primary preoccupation with the role of creation in the life of an artist" Sonia Faleiro, Times Literary Supplement

“Le texte est grave, violent, et rempli de tact” Liberation 

"It's a continuum of beauty."

Jérôme Garcin, La Masque et la Plume

 

"It's very beautiful and totally singular."

Olivia de Lamberterie, La Masque et la Plume

 

"A moving, magnificent, remarkable novel."

Arnaud Viviant, La Masque et la Plume

 

"A modern epic of ordinary people... We read her with infinite pleasure," Radio Belgium, RTBF.be

 "The lovely way in which Roy uses the art and craft of pottery as a metaphor for change and possibility is enthralling" Centre for Fiction, New York

"Elango’s dog Chinna is the most remarkably realized character in the book....his love for Chinna bursts with poignancy and authenticity...." Elizabeth Lawrence, Asian Review of Books

"Roy’s multilayered novel evokes the craft of pottery with a gentle touch while rendering a moving depiction of the power of guilt" BOOKLIST (starred review)

 "Tried-and-true storyteller Anuradha Roy delivers a poetic and ambitious novel about the pursuit of art, love and beauty in the midst of turbulent times in The Earthspinner...Like Roy's other novels, The Earthspinner uses dreamlike lyricism alongside even-handed description, giving its gradual accumulation of tension a mesmerizing cadence... Roy's interest in the artist who demonstrates "such gentleness, such control" is mirrored in her own writing, as she weaves together the pain, joy, triumphs and disease of all those in her novel's world who teeter on either the edge of collapse or transcendent transformation." Alice Martin, Shelf Awareness

 "Roy delivers profound insights on the power of art (“Work with whatever earth you get,” Elango tells Sara. “A potter knows how to do that”), the hideous nature of religious intolerance, and perhaps most sadly, the consequences of pursuing a dream. This is Roy’s best to date." Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

 "an emotionally intelligent, witty, and inventive novel: one that follows passions fired into love and hatred, as well as moulding an intricate coming-of-age novel in miniature" Sydney Morning Herald

"Poetic and deeply profound... reading it is like being caught in an intense storm that is exhilarating but also dark and violent. Roy's ability to capture the fragility and tragedy of life will stay with you long after you've finished reading." Karen Williams, Good Reading Magazine, Australia

"A captivating, lyrical literary work exploring love, and the pull between East and West, and between the modern and the mythic" Love Reading, UK

 "Syncretism and unconditional love form the pulsating heart of this thoughtful novel...comes like a breath of sweet, fresh air. The first thing about the novel is its gentleness of tone. Though it tells of violent and traumatic acts, it does so with such a calm, reflective and understanding tone that one is left thinking, with a touch of sadness, of so much that could have been otherwise....At the warm, throbbing heart of the story is a little dog...It is the little dog who can cross the boundaries that seem impassable to humans" Uma Mahadevan-Dasgupta THE HINDU

"Especially alert to the magic and luminescence of little things...Roy is gifted at pungent, economical, evocative descriptions. In a book notionally about a horse, Roy includes lovely accounts of dogs, whether one sporting "a tail as curly as a comma" or another leaning out a car window, "gobbling the world with each breath". Mark Thomas, Canberra Times

"The Earthspinner captures the mood of sectarian strife and futile fanaticism in contemporary India. And yet it is a quiet, gentle work, never gratuitous; Roy does not care to make grand political statements, nor is she interested in presenting a “novel of ideas”. ... Intricate yet intimate, the novel allows imagination to fill the rest – as all good fiction should" Sana Goyal, Guardian

"In Roy’s expert hands, the prose becomes as malleable as clay...the disparate narrative units... never seem incoherent. Instead, a fine balance has been achieved through the consonance of themes. Indeed, for a novel of 220 odd pages, The Earthspinner manages to embrace an astonishing array of themes...The literary and mythological references, coupled with Roy’s vivid descriptive prose, provide a rich texture to the narrative. The subtle moments of foreshadowing add to the narrative sophistication"
Chandrima Das, The Telegraph
 
"Anuradha Roy is wonderful at depicting inner lives. She describes dogs and people in a subtle, unagitated way, she shows the torn characters of her protagonists, tells us why they are hurt, and describes the traumas that torment them and that turned them into who they are.
‘Tön für die Götter’ is a novel that, once started, you can’t put down."
Simone Hamm, Westdeutscher Rundfunk /WDR (West German Radio and Television)
 
"A quiet and moving work that gathers together an intricate web of modern lives and experiences, but breathes into them the elemental power of mythology, of the natural world, and of human love and hate... Here, both beauty and truth are terrible, incendiary, consuming. But Roy shapes it all with the touch of a seasoned potter, deft and light" Mandakini Dubey, Biblio

"Anuradha Roy returns with another beautifully perceptive novel...a quiet but powerful novel...it becomes a clarion call for the importance of creativity and art amid a world that all too often finds destruction an easier option." Ben East, THE NATIONAL

"Anuradha Roy’s new novel, The Earthspinner, is shot through with her trademark subtlety, elegance and lyricism" Nawaid Anjum, MINT LOUNGE

"Set in the ’80s, communal strife is found to be dominating class structures and seeping through the chambers of art spaces in this grittily paced novel...." Shreshtha Saha, The Telegraph


"Anuradha Roy’s new novel fluidly tells unconnected stories and overwhelms you.
What describes the expanse of themes in this novel is both change and the resistance to it...brilliantly captures the joy and struggle of creative release. Sometimes the entire experience of reading the novel seemed to fittingly replicate the rhythm of the artist – the flowing and halting beats of creating something ... The manner in which the book envelops seemingly contrasting themes seems to mirror Kabir’s proclamation. Even in the forms it assumes, the book is devoted to multiplicity. It is rich in myth and allegory, generous in fleshing out its characters.” Gayathri Sankar, SCROLL

" a tale of hope shaped from the mud of a potter’s village. It’s an exquisite portrayal of empty-nest, loneliness, broken relationships; the quest of an artist that’s as ancient as the art itself, his love and defiance of social divisions and how he nearly paid for this audacity with his life." L. Subramani, DECCAN HERALD

"... quietly and adeptly juxtaposes the tale of a lovelorn potter in an Indian village with the experiences of his apprentice, now studying at a prestigious English university....Roy celebrates art, creativity and inclusion while simultaneously portraying a world on the brink of destructive fanaticism" Guardian

“If anyone is wondering how to embed a jewel from Kabir or Emily Dickinson in a story so that it looks as if it belongs just there, learn from Roy. The events of the novel are set in the time of aerogrammes and typewriters, and Roy’s writing itself has the weight and clarity of prose from a more thoughtful age. Most masterful of all is the way she leaves loose ends trailing after the last page….In less skilled hands these unanswered questions may have annoyed a reader, but here they magnify the illusion of an ever-expanding reality that all good fiction creates”  Latha Anantharaman, India Today 

“A lucid and enjoyable novel,” Nick Major, The Herald 

"Anuradha Roy's new novel employs a fable-like narrative to lay bare the morally suspect skeletons of contemporary India... a stirring meditation of loving a world whose moral conscience seems to be on the brink of irreversible change" Arman Khan in Grazia

"Roy blends viewpoints and stories from different worlds with effortless grace and compelling movement as she takes us through time, class, cultures and mores. She does this with a remarkable lightness of hand and subtlety and above all, without lecturing to the reader"
Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age, Nayantara Roy
 
"Reading Anuradha Roy is always a treat. She spins her stories slowly—taking her time to craft her sentences. The Earthspinner, her new book—which has taken two years to complete—is no different. Vividly imagined... as ambitious as the clay horse which Elango, one of the main characters, dreams of creating." Mandira Nayar, The Week.
 
"The novel sends out a gentle, yet powerful message about fanaticism against reason and humaneness." Hindustan Times
 
"Sunil Gavaskar’s square drive and the ancient supercontinent Gondwanaland cohabit with stories of land grabs and black magic in Anuradha Roy’s new novel The Earthspinner. But it is a potter, whose inspiration comes from ancient myths and wards, who work hard on clay that holds fort amid violence and uncertainty" Faizal Khan, Financial Times, 
 
". . . deeply resonant with the world of today. The novel is a haunting investigation into grief and
loss and the need for creative impulse to rise above it all. Finally, The Earthspinner is about the fragility of the freedoms to live and love the way we want" Reader's Digest


 

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