- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Hachette India (7 June 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9351951251
- ISBN-13: 978-9351951254
- Package Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sleeping on Jupiter Paperback – 7 Jun 2016
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About the Author
Anuradha Roy won the Economist Crossword Prize for Fiction for her novel The Folded Earth, which was nominated for several other prizes including the Man Asia, the DSC and the Hindu Literary Award. Her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, has been widely translated and was named by World Literature Today as one of the sixty essential books on modern India.
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Top customer reviews
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Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy is a story which talks about such hypocrisies that still exist in our country. Nomita, a seven-year-old girl witnesses her father and brother killed by strangers. Nomita then, along with her mother escape from their village, only to land at a lonely beach. But then, treacherous fate hold Nomita’s mother hand and takes her away, leaving Nomita alone on that beach. Within days, her whole family vanishes just like that.
Nomita then lands up at an orphanage, run by an internationally renowned spiritual Guru and then a family from abroad adopts her. She goes to Norway to live with her new mother, but the past still haunts her. She starts getting nightmares about the same Guru, who sexually exploited her when she was a child. Now as a Director’s assistant, Nomita comes back to Jarmuli, to find her lost family and seek answers to all her nightmares. She keeps on looking for the Ashram and people who used to stay there, to fulfill promises she made once.
On her journey, she meets various people..Three old women, Gouri, Latika and Vidya, who want to take a break from their routine and enjoy for a few days away from restriction by their respective family members, Nomita’s guide Badal who is entwined in same-sex love with Raghu, and hidden horrifying secrets of her assistant Suraj.
There are diverse characters mentioned in the book which sum up the overall idea of the hypocrisy which Anuradha wanted to show. A tour guide showcasing Kamasutra artifacts to foreigners bu then also dismissing that Kamasutra displays child sexual abuse. Some priests who make a ruckus if they see some woman inappropriately dressed, but those same priests are involved in illicit sexual activities. A man who has his own restricted notions about women can also smoke a cigarette with a woman just to get to know her better.
Overall, the book has been an amazing read. It will make you understand what goes behind human emotions of love and hatred and how memories can destroy someone. But in some parts, a reader might feel a little lost. Like in parts where Suraj get memory pangs about his wife and the dog he tried to murder. Also, when he attacks Nomita, his emotions are a little hard to understand and the reader might not be able to deduce meaning out of it. The book has been written in a very different style like some para will be talking about Badal’s emotions, and then the second para will start showing similar emotions of Nomita. The style has been mesmerizing and now I can understand why this book was nominated for Booker’s this year. Anuradha Roy truly deserves it.
A young girl, Nomita, having seen her father being murdered, escapes with her mother. Her mother abandons her and she’s spotted by some ladies. She is sent to live in an Ashram which is run by a Religious Guru. The Guru turns out to be a psychopath. The girls in the ashram are repeatedly abused, humiliated and raped, while a completely clean and pious picture is painted for the “respectable people” of the society. Eventually, Nomi manages to escape the place. She gets adopted by a Norwegian woman.
Having landed in the lap of luxury, Nomi feels empty having left all those women and girls behind in misery. She ponders what has become of the Ashram, even more what happened to her mother who abandoned her. She sets out on a quest to the town of Jalmuri, where she feel the answers to all her questions lie. However, upon completing her trip Nomi realizes that there are no answers. The only thing that remains is to accept the fact that there are no answers and move on.
The story is split into two narratives. One is in third person and begins with Nomi’s trip to Jarmuli. The other one Nomi’s narrative which begins with her childhood and tells us about the life in Ashram until her escape. Both narratives have a complete different tone and pace, which helps us switch between timelines with emotional consistency. You are forced to hope for a grand ending where Nomi avenges the crimes against all the girls. In a way she seems to have got the ashram closed. In the end, she simply accepts that her mother, brother and father have now become the stars in the sky, just like she was told in her childhood.
The natural and simplistic ending gives the story a dark authenticity. Although, Nomi ends up with only what she had at the beginning of her quest, all her questions have gone silent.
Anuradha Roy, this book deserves a sequel! I want to know what happens to Nomi, Johnny, Suraj, Gouri ... every one of them. The book didn't end for me.
A perfectly deserving contender for the Man Booker, and of course completely deserving of the DSC prize.
Like a reviewer noted, this is why one reads fiction at all.
Read the book for a lasting impression of great writing, atmosphere, and the sheer beauty of literary impact - an impression that permeates deep inside, and makes one certain of coming back again and again - to this book, and more by the same author.
It s dark and stays with you for a long time. After #AnitaNair, this is one of the best modern Indian writers I have read. #AnuradhaRoy. I find it overwhelming how religious and spiritual centers hide the grossest secrets, the most pitiful stories, and the most tangled people. #SleepingonJupiter is penned as #fiction but it is the #reality on this planet.
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