In this debut novel, Samira Gupta explores what it is to grow up in an oppressive, patriarchal environment, where one man’s word is law. With powerful black-and-white photographs, she tells a story about a personal search for identity, faith and clarity in an environment where everything is provided for and yet nothing is given. Where three generations of women live, pray and laugh together, and yet each fends only for herself.
With humour and great insight, Gupta paints a poignant picture of a girl trying to find herself, veering between wanting space and not needing it, between self-doubt and resilient confidence. Is the rambling 57/8 her home and safe haven, or a place that will splinter away all her individuality? Taking the reader through new roads and old lanes with perception, sensitivity, originality and wit, Gupta’s is an exciting new voice to watch out for.