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Head of Zeus
The Illuminated
The Illuminated by Anindita Ghose

A remarkable debut novel about women's relationships – with each other and with the men in their lives – and the rise of fundamentalism in India today.

'When the light shifts, you see the world differently.'

A superbly nuanced work of fiction, Anindita Ghose's first novel The Illuminated revolves around two women: Shashi and Tara. After the sudden death of her celebrated husband, Shashi is alarmed to realize that overnight, she has lost her life's moorings. Meanwhile, their fiercely independent daughter Tara, a Sanskrit scholar, has been drawn into a passionate involvement with an older man, which threatens to consume her in ways she did not imagine possible.

Amidst a rising tide of religious fundamentalism in India that is determined to put women in their place, Shashi and Tara attempt to look at themselves, and at each other, in a new light. But is it possible to emerge from an eclipse unscathed?

An astonishing feat of the imagination, The Illuminated is as sophisticated in the quality of its prose as it is provocative in its thematic focus on questions of identity. A remarkable novel of ideas, it marks the arrival of a tremendous new literary talent.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Fiction
19 Jan 2023 * 320pp * £20 * 9781803289779
'Lyrical throughout yet so deceptively easygoing... The Illuminated is an extraordinary novel'
André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name
'An incisive portrayal of the abusve and exploitation that thrives as duty, perhaps even attraction, in relationships'
Shubhangi Swarup
'A novel of such self-assurance one can scarcely believe it is the author's first'
Shanta Gokhale
'Sad and funny and wise, The Illuminated is one of those books that will make you hug your loved ones tight'
Akhil Sharma
Anindita Ghose
Anindita Ghose
Anindita Ghose is a writer and journalist based in Mumbai. She was previously the Editor of the Saturday magazine Mint Lounge and the Features Director of Vogue India. She completed her MA in Linguistics and Semiotics from the University of Mumbai and has an MA in Arts & Culture Journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in New York. In 2019, she was a Hawthornden Writing Fellow. The Illuminated is her first novel.
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