A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam – Shortlisted for Booker Prize 2021
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2021.
‘Mesmerizing, political, intimate, unafraid – this is a superb novel, a novel that pays such close, intelligent attention to the world we all live in’ – Sunjeev Sahota, author of the Booker shortlisted The Year of the Runaways
‘A profound and disquieting account of the making of a self, of the pressures of history, desire, will, and chance that determine the shape of a life […] one senses, reading his two extraordinary novels, a new mastery coming into being’ – Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs To You and Cleanness
It begins with a message: a telephone call informing Krishan that his grandmother’s former care-giver, Rani, has died in unexpected circumstances, at the bottom of a well in her village in the north, her neck broken by the fall. The news arrives on the heels of an email from Anjum, an activist he fell in love with four years earlier while living in Delhi, bringing with it the stirring of distant memories and desires.
As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the war-torn Northern Province for the funeral, so begins a passage into the soul of an island devastated by violence. Written with precision and grace, A Passage North is a poignant memorial for the missing and the dead, and a luminous meditation on time, consciousness, and the lasting imprint of the connections we make with others.
‘A Passage North is written with scrupulous attention to nuance and detail. Its world is the deeply-layered, rich interior of its protagonist’s mind but also contemporary Sri Lanka itself, war-scarred, traumatized. At its center is an exquisite form of noticing, a way of rendering consciousness and handling time that connects Arudpragasam to the great novelists of the past’ – Colm Toibin, New York Times bestselling author of Brooklyn and The Testament of Mary
‘a revelatory exploration of the aftermath of war… (An) extraordinary and often illuminating novel’ – Financial Times