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'A horse was in flames. It roamed beneath the ocean breathing fire . . .'
When he wakes up, Elango knows his life has changed. His dream will consume him until he gives it shape. The potter must create a terracotta horse whose beauty will be reason enough for its existence. Yet he cannot pin down from where it has galloped into his mind – the Mahabharata, or Trojan legend, or his anonymous potter-ancestors. Nor can he say where it belongs – in a temple compound, within a hotel lobby, or with Zohra, whom he despairs of ever marrying.
The astral, indefinable force driving Elango towards forbidden love and creation has unleashed other currents. A neighbourhood girl begins her bewildering journey into adulthood, developing a complicated relationship with him. A lost dog adopts him, taking over his heart. Meanwhile, his community is driven by inflammatory passions of a different kind. Here, people, animals, and even the gods live on a knife's edge and the consequences of daring to dream against the tide are cataclysmic.
Moving between India and England, The Earthspinner reflects the many ways in which the East encounters the West. It breathes new life into ancient myths, giving allegorical shape to the war of fanaticism against reason and the imagination. It is an intricate, wrenching novel about the changed ways of loving and living in the modern world.
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... 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. 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
'Roy celebrates art, creativity and inclusion while simultaneously portraying a world on the brink of destructive fanaticism' – Guardian
'Roy's writing 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, 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' – Nayantara Roy, Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age
'Reading Anuradha Roy is always a treat. She spins her stories slowly – taking her time to craft her sentences. The Earthspinner...is no different. Vividly imagined... As ambitious as the clay horse which Elango, one of the main characters, dreams of creating.' – Mandira Nayar, 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 works 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,
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
Anuradha Roy is the author of An Atlas of Impossible Longing, The Folded Earth and Sleeping on Jupiter, which won the DSC Prize for Fiction 2016 and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. Her last book, All the Lives We Never Lived, won the Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award 2018. It was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, the Hindu Literary Award, and the JCB Award for Literature 2019.
She lives in Ranikhet, India.