Water - A Novel

Water - A Novel

Product ID: 19213

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Author: Bapsi Sidhwa
Publisher: Penguin/Viking
Year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 201
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670999075


Set in 1938 India against the backdrop of Mahatma Gandhi’s rise to power, Water follows the life of eight-year-old Chuyia, a child-bride who is abandoned at a widow’s ashram in Benares after her fifty-year-old husband dies. There, she is expected to spend the rest of her life in penitence.

Unwilling to accept her fate, Chuyia becomes a catalyst for change in the lives of the widows. When her friend, the beautiful widow–prostitute Kalyani, falls in love with Narayan, a young, upper-class Gandhian idealist, the affair boldly defies Hindu tradition and threatens to undermine the delicate balance of power within the ashram. Sidhwa’s sensitive storytelling makes this a novel rich with immortal characters.

Water offers a riveting examination of the lives of widows in colonial India, but ultimately it is a haunting and lyrical story of love, faith and redemption.


In this brilliant work Bapsi Sidhwa adds richness and depth to the beautiful film Water. With her characteristic grace, Sidhwa historicizes the images, lends greater poignancy to faces and provides speech where the film must leave the women speechless.
-Sara Suleri Goodyear

A deeply moving story, elegantly told, with all the assurance of a master
-M G Vassanji


A magnificent film!
-Salman Rushdie

Water is a triumph.