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The Book of Passing Shadows

Longlisted | Book Awards 2022 | Translated into English

The Book of Passing Shadows (Ayussinte Pusthakam)

A narrative that has the power to take you through the deepest of human emotions ever felt.

Full Title: The Book of Passing Shadows

Author: C. V. Balakrishnan
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Translator: T. M. Yesudasan
Original Language: Malayalam

Award Category: Translated into English
About the Book: 

Set in a Malabar village of Christian settlers, The Book of Passing Shadows, translated from the Malayalam original Ayussinte Pusthakam, tells the story of a family’s fall from grace, and their journey to redemption. As the narrative unravels against the wider inner conflict
between bodily temptations and spiritual aspirations, the sins of one generation seem to visit ominously upon the next. Through his journey from an innocent childhood to a ruined adolescence, Yohannan loses everyone he knows as ‘family’—a father who is a convicted felon, a grieving mother who passes away while her husband is in prison, an elder sister with prospects who elopes to build a better life, a
grandfather who embraces death after committing a sin, and a best friend and lover who chooses religion over a domestic life. The only solace he finds is in the loving companionship of a grieving widow, Sara, who has been equally wronged by fate and unbundles her woes with him.

About the Author: 

C.V. Balakrishnan is the author of more than thirty books: novels, short story collections, screenplays, and essays. He has received several awards including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for the best novel and the Kerala State Film Award for the best book on film studies.


Yohannan stood silently beside his mother, Theresa’s grave.

There is hope for a tree. If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and new shoots will appear on it. Though its roots grow old in the earth and its stump dies in the ground, it buds and puts forth branches, like a young plant at the scent of water. But where does a man go after he dies?

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