Happy publication day to Chetna Maroo and her debut novel, Western Lane, which is published today by Picador in the UK.
The novel, which was published in the US earlier this year, has been receiving fantastic reviews: ‘Terrific . . . Slim, subtle, moving . . . a bold book and a quietly brilliant one’ (The Economist); ‘Few novelists write this simply and richly. With this gorgeous debut, Maroo blows most of the competition off the court.’ (The Times); ‘The beauty of Maroo’s novel lies in [its] unfolding, the narrative shaped as much by what is on the page as by what’s left unsaid.’ (The New York Times); ‘Starting off as an intimate tone poem, this story of a squash-obsessed teenager expands into something with the amplitude, depth, and ringing power of a great symphony. In other words–WOW. Western Lane is glorious. You’ll want to read it over and over again.’ (Aravind Adiga, author of The White Tiger).
From Picador’s website: ‘Eleven-year-old Gopi has been playing squash since she was old enough to hold a racket. When her mother dies, her father enlists her in a quietly brutal training regimen, and the game becomes her world. Slowly, she grows apart from her sisters. Her life is reduced to the sport, guided by its rhythms: the serve, the volley, the drive, the shot and its echo.
‘But on the court, she is not alone. She is with her pa. She is with Ged, a thirteen-year-old boy with his own formidable talent. She is with the players who have come before her. She is in awe.
‘An indelible coming-of-age story, Chetna Maroo’s first novel captures the ordinary and annihilates it with beauty. Western Lane is a valentine to innocence, to the closeness of sisterhood, to the strange ways we come to know ourselves and each other.’
Huge congratulations to Chetna – we wish her great success with Western Lane.
Chetna Maroo won 2nd prize in the 2017 Bristol Short Story Prize with her story, Wealth of Nations. It is published in our Volume 10 anthology by Tangent Books: https://www.tangentbooks.co.uk/shop/bristol-short-story-prize-volume-10