In the Land of Lovers
Shortlisted | Book Awards 2021 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
In the Land of Lovers
A masterfully woven fable that explores struggle, loss, longing and love with brilliant insight and luminous prose.
It evoked a feeling in her—of silence and freedom, of riding a bicycle on a dirt track cutting through fields.
In the absence of her parents, Nanaki, a fiercely sensitive young woman, is brought up by her grandparents in a quaint Chandigarh neighbourhood. She grows up to be an artist and a professor in an art college. As Nanaki goes through the motions of an idyllic childhood and a difficult teenage love, her experiences play out against a haunting backdrop of Partition and her Beeji’s turbulent personal history.
Nanaki is brought face to face with the dark underbelly of contemporary Punjab when she takes up the cause of a consummate embroidery artist against a corrupt system while also being privy to the heartbreaking stories of two women in her immediate vicinity. Through it all, it is her Sufi bearings that sustain her. Meanwhile, over many motorcycle jaunts to the tiny hill-town of Kasauli, Nanaki finds love in Himmat, an architect with his own share of personal tragedy and a scarred childhood.
Meditative, rooted in location yet filtered through nostalgia, In the Land of the Lovers is a masterfully woven fable with interlocking tales that explore struggle, loss, longing and love with brilliant insight and luminous prose.
SAKOON SINGH read English Literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Panjab University. A recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship, she currently teaches Literature and Cultural Studies in Chandigarh. She has published her academic writings extensively, including contribution to Cultural Studies in India by Routledge. She has served on the editorial team of prestigious journals, Dialog and E3W Review of Books. She has written pieces, articles and op-eds on literature, art, culture and aesthetics for The Tribune, Hindustan Times, DNA and The Quint. She has recently been selected as Associate Fellow at IIAS, Shimla.
When she is not indulging the written word, she is walking the wilds or listening to Jazz.
She lives in Chandigarh with her husband and son.