The Space Between Us
By Thrity Umrigar
(Harper Perennial Modern Classics, Paperback, 9780062067890, 352pp.)
Publication Date: May 2011
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Poignant, evocative, and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. A powerful and perceptive literary masterwork, author Thrity Umrigar's extraordinary novel demonstrates how the lives of the rich and poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and how the strong bonds of womanhood are eternally opposed by the divisions of class and culture.
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.
- The novel deals with a relationship that, despite all the good will in the world, is ultimately based on the exploitation of one human being by another. Has this novel caused you to look at any situations in your own life where you may be benefiting from the labor or poverty of another?
“With humanity and suspense, novelist Thrity Umrigar tackles love, loyalty, injustice - and survival.”
“[Umrigar] displays an impressive talent for conceiving multidimensional, sympathetic characters with life-like emotional quandaries and psychological stumbling blocks.”
-Washington Post Book World, Praise for Bombay Time
“Sadness suffuses this eloquent tale, whose heart-stopping plot twists reveal the ferocity of fate.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“Heartbreaking.... A subtle, elegant analysis of class and power... that quietly roars against tyranny.”
“Intimately and compassionately told.... Sensuous.... Umrigar’s memorable characters will live on for a long time.”
-Frances Itani, Washington Post Book World
“Umrigar is a perceptive and often piercing writer.”
-New York Times Book Review
“[The Space Between Us] is provocative and disturbing.”
“[A] powerful novel.”
-National Post (Canada)
“Umrigar is a highly skilled storyteller...the novel’s plot and depth of characterisation provide irresistible momentum.”
-Time Out New York