A Passage North | Granta

  • Published: 15/07/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783786947
  • Granta Books
  • 304 pages

A Passage North

Anuk Arudpragasam

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021

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.

Life is short but remembering is long. In the aftermath of war, Anuk Arudpragasam's rich, rewarding sentences return the reader to all that is living

Amitava Kumar

Anuk Arudpragasam is an artist of revelations. In A Passage North, he continues to map, with beauty, grace, and fire, the responsibilities we carry in a world that is forever on the brink. This is a novel as both an elegy and a love song, not only for a place, but for the souls, living and dead, who are bound to that place-what an unforgettable and perfect reading experience, and one that unearths truths, relentlessly, magically

Paul Yoon

Anuk Arudpragasam's A Passage North is 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. It's difficult to think of comparisons for Arudpragasam's work among current English-language writers; one senses, reading his two extraordinary novels, a new mastery coming into being

Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness and What Belongs to You

The Author

Anuk Arudpragasam was born in Colombo and currently lives between Sri Lanka and India. His debut novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage, won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize as well as the Internationaler Literaturpreis. He received a doctorate in philosophy from Columbia University in 2019.

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From the Same Author

The Story of a Brief Marriage

Anuk Arudpragasam

Dinesh is a young man trapped on the frontlines between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tigers. Desensitized to the horror all around him, life has been pared back to the essentials: eat, sleep, survive. All this changes when he is approached one morning by an older man who asks him to marry his daughter Ganga, hoping that victorious soldiers will be less likely to harm a married woman. For a few brief hours, Dinesh and Ganga tentatively explore their new and unexpected connection, trying to understand themselves and each other, until the war once more closes over them.

Told in meditative, nuanced and powerful prose, this shattering novel marks the arrival of an extraordinary new literary voice.

Anuk Arudpragasam on Granta.com

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Appamma in London

Anuk Arudpragasam

An excerpt from A Passage North, longlisted for the Booker Prize.