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    9780593230725 9780593410530 Downloadable audio file, $23 CAD 9780593230718 Electronic book text, EPUB
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  • Catalogues

A Passage North
A Novel
By (author): Anuk Arudpragasam
9780593230701 Hardcover English General/trade Jul 13, 2021
$36.00 CAD
Forthcoming 5.75 x 8.53 x 1.03 in | 0.92 lb 304 pages Random House Hogarth
FICTION / Literary
A young man journeys into Sri Lanka’s war-torn north in this searing novel of longing, loss, and the legacy of war from the award-winning author of The Story of a Brief Marriage.

A Passage North begins with a message from out of the blue: a telephone call informing Krishan that his grandmother’s caretaker, Rani, has died under unexpected circumstances—found 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 impassioned yet aloof activist Krishnan fell in love with years before while living in Delhi, stirring old memories and desires from a world he left behind. 



As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the war-torn Northern Province for Rani’s funeral, so begins an astonishing passage into the innermost reaches of a country. At once a powerful meditation on absence and longing, as well as an unsparing account of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s thirty-year civil war, this procession to a pyre “at the end of the earth” lays bare the imprints of an island’s past, the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek.



Written with precision and grace, Anuk Arudpragasam’s masterful new novel is an attempt to come to terms with life in the wake of devastation, and a poignant memorial for those lost and those still alive.

Story Locale: Sri Lanka

THE NEW NOVEL FROM A (YOUNG) LITERARY STAR: With a style reminiscent of such European novelists as Javier Marias and W. G. Sebald, Anuk Arudpragasam’s abundant fans include Colm Tóibín, Leslie Jamison, Amitava Kumar and Garth Greenwell. An excerpt from A Passage North was published in The Paris Review in 2019.

A NOVELIST OF LOVE AND WAR: One of the very few books in fiction to reflect on the legacy of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, which spanned 1983 to 2009, Anuk Arudpragasam evokes an entire country and its history through the lives of unforgettable characters. In its depictions of love and war, Arudpragasam finds kinship with Michael Ondaatje’s THE ENGLISH PATIENT and Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT, WEST.

A STRONG CONTENDER IN THE PRIZE ARENA: Anuk’s first novel was published by Flatiron in 2016 and won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. It was named as ONE OF THE TOP TEN NOVELS of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal, and was a Best Book of 2016 by NPR, The Boston Globe, BuzzFeed, Financial Times, and The Globe and Mail.

ECSTATIC PRAISE: “Brave…Brilliant…a book that makes one kneel before the elegance of the human spirit” ( The New York Times Book Review); “One of the best books I have read in years” (Colm Tóibín); and “A small work of art whittled from atrocity” (The Wall Street Journal).

Anuk Arudpragasam was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He studied philosophy in the United States, receiving a doctorate at Columbia University. His first novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage, was translated into seven languages, won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. He currently divides his time between India and Sri Lanka. 

Author Residence: Delhi, India

Author Hometown: Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Publicity: National media attention

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Media out of Sri Lanka and India

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Author Website: www.anukarud.com

Author Social Media: www.instagram.com/sirukavi/

“Mesmerizing, political, intimate, unafraid—this is a superb novel, a novel that pays such close, intelligent attention to the world we all live in.”—Sunjeev Sahota, author of The Year of the Runaways

“Written with scrupulous attention to nuance and detail, A Passage North captures the rich interior of its protagonist’s mind but also contemporary Sri Lanka itself, war-scarred, traumatized. At its center is an exquisite form of noticing, a way of rendering consciousness and handling time that connects Arudpragasam to the great novelists of the past.”—Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn and The Testament of Mary

“Anuk Arudpragasam’s first book already showed what a fine novelist he was and this second novel provides proof, if any were needed, that he is a major writer, vastly accomplished. 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, author of Immigrant, Montana

“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

“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, author of Snow Hunters and Run Me to Earth

“An intelligent, quite often moving novel of meditation and aftermath… charged throughout with tension and excitement. Not many writers can successfully invite comparison to W.G. Sebald’s slow, inward, thoughtful—yet somehow pulse-pounding—novels, but Arudpragasam can and does…. The result…is a novel of philosophic suspense, one whose reader shivers in anticipation not of what will happen next but of where the next thought will lead. A luminously intelligent, psychologically intricate novel.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Elegant…Readers who enjoy contemplative, Sebaldian narratives will appreciate this.”Publishers Weekly

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