Anjali Enjeti’s captivating debut follows three generations of a family wracked by Partition.
On this week’s episode, Anjali Enjeti discusses The Parted Earth (Hub City Press, May 4), a finely wrought family saga spanning 70 years and half the globe, that thoughtfully contends with the devastating legacy of the 1947 Partition of India.
Kirkus: “Enjeti’s fiction debut, a carefully constructed riddle of a story told in clean, simple prose, begins in New Delhi in the hot summer of 1947, when supersmart 16-year-old Deepa gets her first taste of romance, finding origami notes from handsome Amir hidden in a plant in her family’s garden. But the precarious political situation in India quickly turns toxic as the British government carries out its plan to divide the country into two parts.…The next section of the book, set mostly in 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia, centers on Deepa’s granddaughter, a young American woman originally named Shanti—she’s changed it to Shan—who is looking forward to partnership at her law firm and the birth of her first child. When her life is turned upside down, she connects with an Indian immigrant neighbor, and journeys of discovery begin for both women.…”
Enjeti and host Megan Labrise talk about Part 1 of The Parted Earth, set in June of 1947, and Part 2, which opens in 1985; her research for the novel; what she learned about human nature from writing it; characters who seek their roots in midlife; her debut essay collection Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change (Univ. of Georgia, April 15); what it’s like to have your first two books published two weeks apart; and much more.
Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick join with their reading recommendations for the week.
Like a Dandelion by Huy Voun Lee (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)
The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim (Quill TreeBooks/HarperCollins)
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe (Doubleday)
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Ballantine)
Also mentioned in this episode:
The Day Saida Arrived by Susan Gómez Redondo, illus. by Sonja Wimmer, trans. by Lawrence Schimel (Blue Dot Kids Press)
Bombay Blues, from the “Born Confused” series, Vol. 2, by Tanuja Desai Hidier (PUSH/Scholastic)
That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim (HarperTeen)
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas (Knopf)
Thanks to our advertisers this week:
The Dreaded Cliff by Terry Nichols
Destroyer of Sorrow by Vrinda Sheth, illus. by Anna Johansson
Bakersfield Boys Club by Anne Da Vigo
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.