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This Is How it Took Place

Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)

This Is How it Took Place

Author: Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee
Publisher: Harper Collins India

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

'Prodigious, gifted, precocious: Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee was all of this. It is an incalculable loss to Indian literature that she left us at the age of sixteen.' - Jeet Thayil. A girl tries in vain to please her mother, a young woman comes to terms with her infidelity, siblings take over each other's identities - these stories, often told from the perspectives of silent rebels, headstrong loners and nihilistic onlookers, open up the fissures between friendship, love, marriage and familial bonds. Selected and edited by Shinie Antony, these sixteen stories house situations and characters that readers won't forget. Fuelled by a singular and affecting voice, This Is How It Took Place is a truly masterful debut.


About the Author: 

Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee (2001-17) did her schooling in Bangalore. She attended Stanford University's residential course in creative writing as a fourteen-year-old, and Johns Hopkins University's Engineering Innovation programme at fifteen. She enjoyed swimming, music, travelling and golf.


Review: 

As one reads through Rudrakshi’s writings, the very depth and the sheer magnitude of her thought process holds out. Her mind, no ordinary, is that of a genius. If only this genius could have lived somewhat longer. After all, 16 is no age to go but even with that premature departure she’s left back this treasure of her writings.
– New Indian Express

Through her stories, 16-year-old Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee implored adults to lend an ear to adolescents. Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee’s This is How It Took Place is a collection of short stories written by the 16-year-old author, who passed away in 2017. Though the book has been endorsed by Jeet Thayyil, who calls the writer ‘Prodigious, gifted, precocious,’ many of the stories remain raw and uneven. And yet, the three stories that are truly complete — the title story, ‘A Vacancy’, and ‘La Mer’ — are enough to justify Thayyil’s blurb.
– FirstPost

The writing holds a serious mirror to adults— one that tells them to listen, to engage more deeply with what children, and those approaching adulthood, are saying and thinking.
The Indian Express

Prodigious, gifted, precocious: Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee was all of this. It is an incalculable loss to Indian literature that she left us at the age of sixteen.
– Jeet Thayil

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