The Folded Earth
SHORTLISTED FOR THE HINDU LITERARY PRIZE FOR BEST FICTION 2011
WITH HER DEBUT NOVEL, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, Anuradha Roy’s exquisite storytelling instantly won readers’ hearts around the world, and the novel was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post and The Seattle Times.
Now, Roy has returned with another masterpiece that is already earning international prize attention, 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 and confirms Anuradha Roy as a major new literary talent.
Read an Excerpt
The girl came at the same hour, summer or winter. Every morning, I heard her approach. Plastic slippers, the clink of steel on stone. And then her footsteps, receding. That morning she was earlier. The whistling thrushes had barely cleared their throats, and the rifle range across the valley had not yet sounded its bugles. And, unlike every other day, I did not hear her leave after she had set down my daily canister of milk.
She did not knock or call out. She was waiting. All went quiet in the blueness before sunlight. Then the soothing early morning mutterings of the neighborhood began: axes struck wood, dogs tried out their voices,... see more
Reading Group Guide
In a remote town in the Himalaya, a young widow named Maya tries to put her past behind her. By day she teaches in a school and at night she types drafts of a magnum opus by her landlord, an eccentric scholar and a relic of princely India. Her bond with him and her friendship with a village girl, Charu, seem to offer her the chance for a new life in the village of Ranikhet, where lush foothills meet clear skies. As Maya finds out, however, no refuge is remote enough to separate her from her past. The world she has come to love, where people are connected with nature, is endangered by the town’s new administration. By turns poetic, elegiac, and comic, The Folded Earth is a multilayered narrative about characters struggling with their pasts even as they fight for freedom and clarity in the present.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. The setting of The Folded Earth, particularly the author’s descriptions of nature in the Himalayan foothills, plays a huge role in the book&rsquo see more