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The Heart Asks Pleasure First

Longlisted | Book Awards 2021 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)

The Heart Asks Pleasure First

Author: Karuna Ezara Parikh
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Award Category: Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
About the Book: 

An extraordinary tale of love in a world being torn asunder.

It's a sunny day in 2001 and Daya, a ballet student, is sitting in a park in Wales far away from her home in India. Unbeknownst to her, she is about to meet Aaftab, a young Muslim lawyer from Pakistan, and fall inexplicably in love.

Even as Aaftab battles his heart, their relationship transcends the divides of religion, nationality and language. They forge profound bonds but the cataclysmic events of the year will have dangerous ramifications and push them to confront the most difficult complexities of their lives.

Set in a world of students but breathtaking in its expansiveness, The Heart Asks Pleasure First is a spellbinding first novel that speaks urgently to the frailties of our times. Karuna Ezara Parikh humanizes the big themes of friendship and family, migration and xenophobia, with the deftness of a poet and the magic of a born storyteller.

About the Author: 

Karuna Ezara Parikh is a poet and writer, former television anchor and model known widely for her activism. She studied Journalism, Film & Broadcasting at Cardiff University. Her writing has featured in Vogue, Wire, Outlook, Tehelka, Firstpost, Open and Lonely Planet. In 2015, she co-founded the sustainable company The Burlap People. She lives in Calcutta with her husband and their dog. The Heart Asks Pleasure First is her first book.

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