In this tender, lyrical, and often funny novel, Anjali Joseph shines a light on everyday life, illuminating its humour, beauty, and truth.
There is a certain number of breaths each of us has to take, and no amount of care or carelessness can alter that.
This is the story of two lives. Claire is a young single mother working in one of England’s last surviving shoe factories, her adult life formed by a teenage relationship. Is she ready to move on from memory and the routine of her days? Arun, an older man in a western Indian town, makes hand-sewn chappals at home. A recovered alcoholic, now a grandfather, he negotiates the newfound indignities of old age while returning in thought to the extramarital affair he had years earlier.
These lives are woven through with the ongoing discipline of work and the responsibility and tedium of family life. Lives laced with the joys of old friendship, the pleasure of sex, and the redemptive kindness of one’s own children. This is the story of the living.
Praise for The Living
‘A beautiful and profound book that distils, with uncanny precision and truthfulness, the flow and movement of inner lives deep under the surface of things. Joseph has dug at one of the hardest spots in the terrain of form and come up with a luminous and rare jewel’ Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others