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Book Of Shadows

Book Of Shadows

Namita Gokhale
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The avengers of my vanity have broken me, humbled me with these small depredations of skin and bone and tissue, leaving me less than I was.’ Scarred by her lover’s suicide and an acid attack that has left her permanently disfigured, Rachita Tiwari has sought refuge in a remote house in the Himalayan foothills. In this rambling house, built by a foolhardy missionary over a hundred years ago, she lives alone”save for the company of the ancient and mysterious manservant, Lohaniju”painting and repainting her nails a bright red, careful not to look into mirrors. As she retreats into herself, battling for her sanity and fearful of a world she no longer trusts, a different dimension claims her and the tremendous history of the house is played out before her. There is the vain fool, Captain Wolcott, and his tragically sensuous mistress, Dona Rosa, -of the wandering heart’; the doomed lovers Marcus and Munro, disciples of Aleister Crowley, infamous dabbler in black magic; Father Benedictus, -seeker of knowledge’, at peace with himself and his God; and the all-knowing, sage crows. With and above them all is the resident ghost of the house, solitary and sad, at times merely an observer as the fantastical destinies unfold around him, and at times unable to remain detached. After a century of silence something compels him to speak”words that the injured woman now inhabiting the house will hear; words that will give her back to herself. Part ghost story, part erotic romance, The Book of Shadows is an ambitious book that investigates the nature of reality, love and faith. It is a work of startling originality by one of India’s most daring and talented writers. -Our kind is not nourished by the sun: it is the moon which gives us sustenance. We wax and wane with the moon, except when harnessed by a human energy, when the pull of the tides loses its grip. As dawn broke over the mountains, lighting up the still white presences of the snows, I fled to my refuge, my fated spot. This night of passion, my first, had initiated me into the sorrows of mankind; the unfaith, the terrible and tenuous link of love.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: May/2001

ISBN: 9780140282115

Length : 240 Pages

MRP : ₹299.00

Book Of Shadows

Namita Gokhale

The avengers of my vanity have broken me, humbled me with these small depredations of skin and bone and tissue, leaving me less than I was.’ Scarred by her lover’s suicide and an acid attack that has left her permanently disfigured, Rachita Tiwari has sought refuge in a remote house in the Himalayan foothills. In this rambling house, built by a foolhardy missionary over a hundred years ago, she lives alone”save for the company of the ancient and mysterious manservant, Lohaniju”painting and repainting her nails a bright red, careful not to look into mirrors. As she retreats into herself, battling for her sanity and fearful of a world she no longer trusts, a different dimension claims her and the tremendous history of the house is played out before her. There is the vain fool, Captain Wolcott, and his tragically sensuous mistress, Dona Rosa, -of the wandering heart’; the doomed lovers Marcus and Munro, disciples of Aleister Crowley, infamous dabbler in black magic; Father Benedictus, -seeker of knowledge’, at peace with himself and his God; and the all-knowing, sage crows. With and above them all is the resident ghost of the house, solitary and sad, at times merely an observer as the fantastical destinies unfold around him, and at times unable to remain detached. After a century of silence something compels him to speak”words that the injured woman now inhabiting the house will hear; words that will give her back to herself. Part ghost story, part erotic romance, The Book of Shadows is an ambitious book that investigates the nature of reality, love and faith. It is a work of startling originality by one of India’s most daring and talented writers. -Our kind is not nourished by the sun: it is the moon which gives us sustenance. We wax and wane with the moon, except when harnessed by a human energy, when the pull of the tides loses its grip. As dawn broke over the mountains, lighting up the still white presences of the snows, I fled to my refuge, my fated spot. This night of passion, my first, had initiated me into the sorrows of mankind; the unfaith, the terrible and tenuous link of love.

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Namita Gokhale

Namita Gokhale is one of India’s best known and most loved authors. A prominent writer, festival director, and literary activist, she is the author of twenty three works of fiction and non-fiction. Her pioneering work has earned her great acclaim over the last few decades.
The cult classic Paro: Dreams of Passion, first published in 1984, is a satire on the elite of Bombay and Delhi which created a furore due to its frank sexual humour. It has remained in print and been read and appreciated by successive generations over the last four decades. The new double edition Double Bill: Priya and Paro brings together Paro and Priya: Take Two in one classic volume.
Gokhale later battled illness and personal loss to write memorable works including the Himalayan trilogy, which began with The Book of Shadows, includes A Himalayan Love Story, and continues with Things to Leave Behind, which brings to life the mixed legacy of the British Indian past and chronicles Nainital’s reluctant entry into modern India.
Things to Leave Behind was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award for 2021 . It also won the the Best Fiction(English) Jury Award at the Valley of Words International Literature Festival 2017, the Sushila Devi Literary Award 2018 and was on the long list for the 2018 Dublin Literary Award.
Gokhale is has also worked extensively with Indian myth through The Book of Shiva, an introduction to Shaivite philosophy. The Puffin Mahabharata is an illustrated retelling of the Indian epic for young readers. Lost in Time: Ghatotkacha and the Game of Illusions, also for young readers, examines a rare friendship, as well as the abiding puzzles of the past.



The Goddess Trilogy includes the pathbreaking anthologies In Search of Sita – Revisiting Mythology, Finding Radha , The Quest for Love , and The Treasures of Lakshmi - The Goddess Who Gives (co-edited with Dr. Malashri Lal. )
Gokhale’s recent fiction includes the evocative Jaipur Journals , set against the backdrop of the vibrant Jaipur Literature Festival, and The Blind Matriarch which follows an extended Indian joint family through the travails of the pandemic.
Gokhale has a passionate commitment to showcasing Indian writing . She is co-founder and co-director of the internationally renowned Jaipur Literature Festival and also helps curate its diverse international editions. She has conceived and curated Kitaabnama, India’s only multi-lingual book show for the national broadcaster Doordarshan. She has twice chaired the Dylan Thomas Prize . She is passionately committed to cross cultural dialogue and to showcasing writing across the spectrum of South Asian languages.
Namita Gokhale was conferred the Centenary National Award for Literature by the Asam Sahitya Sabha in Guwahati in 2017 "for her literary contributions as well as her service to the nation in supporting and showcasing literary talents and creating a literary environment in the country".

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