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The Folded Earth [Kindle Edition]

Anuradha Roy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Ranikhet: a remote town spanning three hills in the Indian Himalaya, surrounded by oak, cypress and cedar, and to the north, the ice-white teeth of the highest peaks. Here, Maya begins to find peace after a time of great sorrow.

But soon the world she has come to love is threatened by the town's new administration: elections are hijacked by powerful outsiders who sow division and mistrust. When her landlord's nephew returns to set up a trekking company, Maya is drawn to him despite herself, but his long hikes in the mountains evoke painful echoes of the past.

By turn poetic, elegiac and comic, The Folded Earth reveals the strange shapes that India's religious and social conflicts can assume, even on distant mountaintops.

Product Description


'I was captivated by The Folded Earth and swept into its narrative ... it tells a story about love and hate, continuity and change, loss and grief in a convincing and memorable setting' The Independent.

'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' Tatler.

'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' The Hindu.

'Culminates in a gripping climax that leaves the reader with a poignant yearning for lost loves and sweet revenge' Times of India.

'Even minor characters are evoked with inventive idiosyncrasy ... her prose is tight with life' Daily Mail. 'Seamlessly places the private lives of her characters within a larger socio-political setting ... at the end of the Folded Earth you feel a firm belief in the redemptive qualities of life and love' Elle.

'Poignant and subtle in its storytelling ... the story of love and sorrow told in poetic prose' Verve. 'Negotiates passion and pain, hate and hauteur, with a deftness of narrative skill that is distinctly acrobatic' India Today.

'A joyous novel about grief' Tehelka. 'Delights as much for the allure of the writing as for its very hill-like twists and turns' Indian Express.

'From its inspired title to its tactilely enticing cover, Anuradha Roy's second novel demands the reader pause, slow down, savor this work' Biblio. 'A remarkably assured work ... filled with beautifully crafted prose' Country and Town House Magazine, UK.

From the Inside Flap

In a remote town in the Himalaya, high mountains and forest all around, Maya tries to put behind her a time of great sorrow. By day she teaches in a school and at night she types up drafts of a magnum opus by her landlord, a relic of princely India known to all as Diwan Sahib. Her bond with this eccentric scholar, and her friendship with a peasant girl, Charu, seem to offer her the chance to forge a new existence away from the devastation of the past. As Maya finds out, no place is remote or small enough. The world she has come to love, where people are connected with nature, is endangered by the town's new administration. The impending elections are hijacked by powerful outsiders who sow division and threaten the future of her school. Charu begins to behave strangely, and Maya soon understands that a new boy in the neighbourhood may be responsible for changes in her young friend. When Diwan Sahib's nephew arrives to set up his trekking company on their estate, she is drawn to him despite herself, but his long hikes in the mountains evoke painful echoes. By turn poetic, elegiac and comic, this is a powerful story of characters struggling against their pasts, a novel which poignantly shows the strange shapes that India's religious and social conflicts can assume even on distant mountain tops.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 414 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0857388312
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004MYF4T2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,381 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming Himalayan story 28 Feb. 2012
By Ripple TOP 500 REVIEWER
Set in a remote hill top town in the Himalayas where the earth has folded to create the majestic scenery, a young woman, Maya, recently widowed arrives to be closer to the scene of her husband's climbing accident. There, she encounters a rich variety of characters who seem to leap of the page, foremost of which two at opposite ends both of society and life's journey - Charu, a young peasant girl whose emerging relationship with a young cook is touching and sweet, and Maya's eccentric landlord, a relict of the Raj who may or may not be in possession of some intriguing personal letters that pertain to India's history and the departing British.

There are three great strengths to this book. Firstly the contrast between the timeless majesty and beauty of the landscape and the all too brief lives of the often rather less noble human residents who live there. This leads to the second reason that this is such a good read: Roy creates some wonderful, often quite eccentric characters. You can always tell when this is done to perfection when even the smallest bit part characters seem to come to life with a few brief idiosyncracies. The final thing that stands out about this book is that, while at times it's not altogether clear where the plot, such as it is, is heading, the final few pages make sense of the whole thing and may surprise you and will probably make you smile.

The overall tone of the book is gentle and charming, although that's not to say that it glosses over some important issues surrounding modern day India, but rather it gently sends these up with a delicate humour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmeringly beautiful 18 Nov. 2011
It takes a special writer to fashion something out of the ordinary from such a conventional subject: in this case, the much-plundered, Kipling-esque tale of rural India's struggle to shake off the remnants of the Raj and embrace an uneasy new political and religious future.
Anuradha Roy, however, 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.
'The Folded Earth' is about love, loss and longing as much as it about the corruptive influence of politics and religion: the fragility of everyday existence in the mountain villages of Himalaya mirrored by the uneasy peace among Hindus, Christians and Muslims, which is already spilling blood in the valleys below.
Maya, a young schoolteacher, escapes to the mountains following the death of her husband in a climbing accident, seeking and at first finding a happiness of sorts. She helps an eccentric scholar, Diwan Sahib, complete his life's work and forges a precious friendship with Charu, a peasant girl who lives on his estate.
When Charu falls in love with a visiting hotel cook, and Diwan's nephew Veer arrives to set up a trekking company, Maya's dream of solitude is shattered. Elections are approaching, and the rise in Hindu nationalism threatens the future of her school and the life she and the locals have forged around it.
Roy's work is a masterpiece of restraint. She conjures a world of such verdant beauty it must surely have been tempting to destroy it: juxtaposing her poetic descriptions with a brutality which shatters its inherent tranquility to devastating effect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and Beautifully Written. 11 Mar. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anuradha Roy's wonderful new novel 'The Folded Earth' is set in Kipling Country, in a remote hill station in India, where over time the earth has become folded upon itself to form a splendid and breathtaking landscape. The story is narrated by Maya, a young Hindu woman who has been disinherited by her father for marrying a Christian and, after the death of her husband in a mountaineering expedition, has moved to Ranikhet, a remote hill station in the Himalayas.

At Ranikhet, Maya spends her days teaching at a Christian school and, during the evenings, she helps her landlord, Diwan Sahib, an eccentric aristocrat (who apparently is in possession of secret letters written by Nehru to Lady Mountbatten) by typing up drafts of his magnum opus. Maya also befriends a semi-literate peasant girl called Charu, who meets and falls in love with a young cook. When the young man has to return to Delhi with his employers and sends letters to Charu, she comes to Maya so that she can help her to read the letters and, whilst Maya helps Charu with her reading, she becomes involved in the romance of the young couple's blossoming love affair.

However, Maya's feeling of well-being does not last long, for no sooner does she start to feel settled then Diwan Sahib's ambitious nephew, Veer, sets up a trekking company on the estate, and the forthcoming elections are taken over by outsiders who cause divisions between the local people and threaten the future of Maya's school.

Anuradha Roy's 'The Folded Earth' is a captivating story that is beautifully written with language that is both precise and poetic. The description of the landscape is exquisitely drawn and it is easy to become wonderfully carried away with the beauty of the surroundings and with the lyricism of the writing.
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