Nominated | Book Awards 2021 | Writings for Young Adults
A timely book that talks of real, contemporary issues like migration, terrorism, and the life of refugees.
Shanna and Pema, two girls growing up in a big city, meet at their new school. They come from displaced communities—people who had to flee their land to escape persecution. Shanna is a Kashmiri Pandit, and Pema comes from a nomadic tribe whose people called the high mountains beyond India their home.
Shanna is dealing with the aftermath of a violent act that has forever changed her life. Pema was born in the city, but all around her are people who cling to the old customs.
As Shanna and Pema become friends, they get to understand their own and each other’s stories. They discover new wells of strength within themselves and start to deal with the sadness and confusion of the adults around them. But when they embark on a plan that is as brave as it is audacious, will the forces of history allow them to succeed?
Searing and tender, Nomad’s Land talks about the effects of terrorism and displacement, and about the healing powers of hope, friendship and reconciliation.
Paro Anand writes for children, young adults and adults. She won the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puruskar in 2017 for her anthology Wild Child (now published as Like Smoke). She has spoken about and written extensively on children’s literature in India. She headed the National Centre for Children’s Literature, The National Book Trust, India, the apex body for children’s literature in India. She also runs a podcast on HubHopper called Literature in Action, and was an invitee to the India Conference at the Harvard Business School in 2018. She was awarded the Kalinga Karubaki Award for fearless writing in 2019.
She is well-known for her work with children in difficult circumstances including those impacted by violence in Kashmir and has written extensively on the subject.
These were girls of forever skies and snow-clad mountains, yes, but that was long ago. One remembered it. Some of the time. Although she tried her best not to. But sometimes a memory would be triggered by little things that rose unbidden. Little things. The colour of a rose, a familiar smell like the fragrance of cooling rain on hot stone. But they were snatches of memory, no more than a swatch. Not the swathes of whole remembrance like her mother and grandmother had.
The other girl had no memory of her own homeland. For she was born after her family had fled their homeland. When the genocide began. She was born in this ‘foreign land’ and only knew of ‘home’ from the memories of her mother and others. The fabric of what was then had so enveloped the mother that she was blind to all the now that surrounded her. Smothered her. She came alive when she lived in her yesterdays and died a little every time there was a now to deal with.