In An Unrestored Woman, the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 cuts a jagged path through the lives of ordinary women and men, leaving ripples of sorrow through time and space. Each couplet of stories spans the Indian subcontinent, from refugee camps and torched trains to the spacious verandas of the British Raj, and billows into the wider world. An old woman recounts the murdering of what was most precious to her, and the many small cuts that led her to that act.

I loved these short stories; they are insightful and moving – you can feel the pain and suffering of these women who are now stateless and unwanted. The stories are interwoven in a seamless manner and engrossing with a fluid prose and a highly accessible writing style. The beauty of the stories in An Unrestored Woman is such that they offer me as a bookseller the opportunity to hand sell them to adults as well as teenagers.

Thanks to Ursula Doyle at Virago for sending me a proof otherwise I may have missed reading these gems of stories.


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