North-east India, 1945. Tensions are rising, but fourteen-year-old Joya doesn’t pay much attention to ‘political business’ – she is more concerned with doing well at school and having fun with her best friends. Yet when her father disappears without a trace, Joya’s life falls apart.
Forced to drop out of school and support her mother by working in a garment factory, she refuses to accept that her father is gone forever, spending her nights sewing him a suit from scraps of fine material. But as political unrest grows and rumours of corruption spread, Joya questions the true nature of her father’s disappearance. And who is the sinister figure known only as the two-tailed snake?
‘An accomplished and deeply imagined story of familial love and separation, set in an India of looming independence and partition. One gains a child’s-eye view of an interwoven society fatally sundering along the fault lines of politics, caste and religion.’ — Mike Fox, author of The Violet Eye
‘Yet again, Ghosh combines her uniquely lush, lyrical prose with a compelling story rich in the political upheaval of twentieth century India. A beautiful tale that evokes the senses and tugs at the heartstrings while propelling the reader forward, until the final, bittersweet ending that left one wanting more, as every good novella should do’ —Eileen Merriman, author of The Silence of Snow
‘Nod Ghosh’s compact novella is a blend of the mythic and the real. The two-tailed snake is our elusive and chimeric guide as one girl comes of age during the Partition of India and Pakistan. Through Ghosh’s deft storytelling, Joya’s resilience becomes the resilience of a country‘ —Shobha Rao, author of Girls Burn Brighter
‘An engagingly dreamlike style.‘ — Historical Novel Society