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Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love

Per J. Andersson, Anna Holmwood (Translated by)


List Price: 19.99*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/13/2018)



The story begins in a public square in New Delhi. On a cold December evening a young European woman of noble descent appears before an Indian street artist known locally as PK and asks him to paint her portrait – it is an encounter that will change their lives irrevocably.

PK was not born in the city. He grew up in a small remote village on the edge of the jungle in East India, and his childhood as an untouchable was one of crushing hardship. He was forced to sit outside the classroom during school, would watch classmates wash themselves if they came into contact with him, and had stones thrown at him when he approached the village temple. According to the priests, PK dirtied everything that was pure and holy. But had PK not been an untouchable, his life would have turned out very differently.

This is the remarkable true story of how love and courage led PK to overcome extreme poverty, caste prejudice and adversity – as well as a 7,000-mile, adventure-filled journey across continents and cultures – to be with the woman he loved.

Praise For Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love

'A feel-good story that’s so feel-good it makes other feel-good stories feel bad.'
— New York Times Book Review

'A wonderful love story.'
— National Geographic’s Best Books of 2017

'A beautiful, epic tale of love and perseverance.'
— Booklist

‘Charming…epic…a journey repeatedly facilitated by the kindness of strangers, but also fraught with danger and pitfalls…[a] 7,000-mile journey across continents, lasting almost five months – all in the name of love.’
— Daily Mail

'Often filled with sumptuous prose.'
— Publishers Weekly

‘[This] is one of those genuinely illuminating stories that come along once in a while. At heart an against-all-odds love story, this wonderful book does so much to explain why Indian society is the way it is. The story of PK, growing up an 'untouchable' at a time when such labels should have been abolished, is touching, harrowing and ultimately enlightening. The writing is humorous and tender, the cast of characters joyous, and best of all – it's all true.’
— Vaseem Khan, author of The Baby Ganesh Detective Agency Series

‘A must-read because you won’t find any other love story that is so beautiful, touching, and – above all – true’
— Grazia

'This is a story of human connection that spans continents, class, and race.'
— Library Journal

Oneworld Publications, 9781786070333, 304pp.

Publication Date: February 2, 2017

About the Author

Anna Holmwood translates literature from Chinese and Swedish to English. She was awarded one of the first British Centre for Literary Translation mentorship awards in 2010 and is currently working on a major series of Chinese martial arts novels by Jin Yong for MacLehose Press. In 2011 she co-founded the Emerging Translators’ Network to support early career translators, and was elected to the UK Translators Association committee in 2012. She lives in China.

Conversation Starters from

1. This book is not only about PK’s 1970s bicycle journey from India to Sweden for love, but about his life growing up as in the untouchable caste. How do you think these two themes fit together?

2. Coming from the untouchable caste, PK was always told that he would never amount to anything. How do you think that affected his determination to journey to Sweden?

3. Have you come away from the reading experience with a new perspective or understanding of India?

4. What was your favorite story from PK’s journey along the Hippie Trail?

5. PK’s story has touched many people’s lives. Are you surprised? Do you feel the same?

6. PK has been exposed to many religions throughout his life—Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, among others. How do you think this affected his outlook on life?

7. If you could sit down with PK and ask him anything, what would you ask him?

8. While drawing in portraits in New Delhi, PK befriended some powerful people, including Valentina Tereshkova, the first female Russian cosmonaut, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the US Ambassador to India, and perhaps most important of all, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He’s said in interviews that, “She didn’t know it, but Valentina Tereshkova changed the whole course of my life for the better.” Do you have moments or people like that in your own life?

9. After reading, have you come away with any particular insights or revelations about love?

10. This book was written by Per J Andersson, who wrote the book after interviews with PK. Do you think the story was relayed well?