Author: Sharmistha Mohanty
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-86939-21-0
New Life is a tale of love, of a girl growing up to be a woman in Calcutta, and of her spiritual awakening across continents. It can be read as a story of complex human relationships, evocatively interspersed with metaphorical descriptions of landscapes. A passage in the novel aptly describes the author's intention behind her writing: '
she wrote from, not about. She attempted to create a space, a vast space where many things could dwell at the same time, and where each thing could become more than itself.'
This is not another English novel written for export; a native sensibility works in English to rediscover our own ways of understanding the world.
New Life is not just a tale, it is a poem.
The past comes through in New Life as so many melodic lines converging and then separating in strange yet vaguely familiar ways. These lines, I am afraid, will haunt you, because just when you will begin to think nostalgia in getting you, you will recognize in some surprise that it is not a lost world that Sharmishta Mohanty is invoking but a living world that survives in fragments, tentatively yet confidently, all around us. It is a world that has lost none of its vitality for being half-forgotten or cornered. The search is not for a lost history but for a self within which fragments of past selves will find a place.
- Ashis Nandy