The World We Found

By Thrity Umrigar
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061938344, 320pp.)

Publication Date: January 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '12 Reading Group List
“Umrigar's latest recalls the halcyon days at university in 1970s Bombay, which were characterized by intense friendships, fierce ambitions, and a determination to change the world, as remembered by four women whose lives have ended up radically different from their collegiate dreams: one, dying in America, whose last wish is to see her three friends, two living in upper middle class Mumbai, and the fourth who has been long-estranged from their circle. Painful secrets, both past and present, threaten to prevent the reunion. Blood may be thicker than water, but Umrigar proves that friendship is thicker than blood in this marvelous novel that is both fascinating and disturbing by turns.”
-- Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the January 2012 Indie Next List


Description

The acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven returns with a breathtaking, skillfully wrought story of four women and the unbreakable ties they share.

As university students in late 1970s Bombay, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable. Spirited and unconventional, they challenged authority and fought for a better world. But much has changed over the past thirty years. Following different paths, the quartet drifted apart, the day-to-day demands of work and family tempering the revolutionary fervor they once shared.

Then comes devastating news: Armaiti, who moved to America, is gravely ill and wants to see the old friends she left behind. For Laleh, reunion is a bittersweet reminder of unfulfilled dreams and unspoken guilt. For Kavita, it is an admission of forbidden passion. For Nishta, it is the promise of freedom from a bitter fundamentalist husband. And for Armaiti, it is an act of acceptance, of letting go on her own terms even if her ex-husband and daughter do not understand her choices.

In the course of their journey to reconnect, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta must confront the truths of their lives—acknowledge long-held regrets, face painful secrets and hidden desires, and reconcile their idealistic past and their compromised present. And they will have to decide what matters most, a choice that may just help them reclaim the extraordinary world they once found.

Exploring the enduring bonds of friendship and the power of love to change lives, and offering an unforgettable portrait of modern India—a nation struggling to bridge economic, religious, gender, and generational divides—The World We Found is a dazzling masterwork from the remarkable Thrity Umrigar.




About the Author

Thrity Umrigaris the author of five novels and the memoir First Darling of the Morning. A former journalist, she is a winner of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard and a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award. A professor of English at Case Western Reserve University, she lives in Cleveland, Ohio.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The World We Found is the story of four close friends—Armaiti, Kavita, Laleh, and Nishta—separated by time and the detours of life. Compare and contrast the four friends both as students and as adults. What does their friendship mean to them? What is the significance of Armaiti in each of these women’s lives?




Praise For The World We Found

The World We Found is stunning in its credibility and nuance. . . . This is a novel that rewards reading, and even re-reading. The World We Found is a powerful meditation.”
-Boston Globe

“Luminous. . . . Wise and absorbing, Umrigar’s novel has the rich, chaotic vibrancy of a Mumbai marketplace.”
-People

“Asparkling and sharp slice of life.”
-Nina Sankovitch, Huffington Post

The World We Found is absorbing and resonant.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Umrigar renders a vivid portrait of modern-day India as she meditates upon the power of friendship, loyalty, and love. Like her previous works, The World We Found is eloquent and evocative, bitter and sweet.”
-Booklist (starred review)

“There’s ample discussion to be had here on the topics of family, friendship, religion and marriage. Umrigar is a lively storyteller. The women are sympathetic characters, their relationships fully realized and deeply felt. . . . Umrigar’s evocative world is one worth finding, indeed.”
-Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Absorbing. . . . A rewarding novel.”
-Publishers Weekly

“A storyteller through and through, Umrigar ensures that her characters face up to the costs and consequences created by their choices, right or wrong, principled or unprincipled.”
-Washington Post

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