Entwined Lives is Shuvashree Chowdhury’s second novel. It is a story of two attractive, independent women, Sujata Anand and Aparna Nikhil, and their unfolding lives in a fateful conjunction with each other, from loving the same man Anand, a Chennai-based media baron. Sujata, who is just out of college, is married to him — Aparna, recently returned from Mumbai from a marriage gone horribly wrong, works for him. Aparna works her way up to the position of editor of a newly-launched supplement of a newspaper owned by Anand’s family. But has Aparna earned her promotion, or is it because of her connection to the boss? Sujata is hurt and lonely and nurtures a romantic liaison with the much older Shekhar, while trying to establish herself as an independent career woman with an executive search firm she has set up.
The novel perceptively charts the loves, heartbreaks and ambitious lives of Sujata, Aparna, Anand and Shekhar. All this, through a trajectory of societal issues — male and increasing female alcoholism, unrecognized emotional and physical abuse, extramarital romance and sex as a fallout, sexual harassment, social media frauds and internet financial crimes. It is an intriguing kaleidoscope of life in urban India, one that will leave you wanting more. Will Anand and Sujata’s marriage survive? What will Aparna do? It is a dramatic and engrossing tale, told in a simple and endearing way.
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‘A moving and evocative novel that vividly captures our past.’
— TIMERI N MURARI, novelist & playwright, recipient of the R K Narayan Award
‘An urgent tale told with utter vividness. An important addition to the literatures from India’s North-East and Bangladesh.’
— SUDEEP SEN, author of Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations: 1980-2015; The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry & EroText
‘The book is unputdownable. How many people can write as powerfully as Shuvashree Chowdhury?’
— PRANAY GUPTE, journalist & author
‘Across Borders holds you with its vivid descriptions and its delineation of characters. Moving across the important decades of our early independence, it tells stark and often poignant stories.’
— RUCHIR JOSHI, writer & columnist, The Telegraph (Kolkata)
‘An engrossing storyteller …. The delineation of characters is superb, so true and real that they come to life. I was able to identify myself with many situations. I finished reading the novel in two straight sittings.’
— P V KRISHNAMOORTHY, (first) Director General, Doordarshan
‘The author has surpassed herself in fleshing out the primary characters. But her strength lies in linguistic flair, especially in descriptive prose. There are myriad evocative turns of phrase throughout the novel, each a delicate brushstroke that adds luminosity to a master canvas. It is in these compelling details that Across Borders stands out as a commendable body of work, its vivid details evocatively blending history with fiction.’
— The Telegraph