A Passage North

A Passage North

3.74 (4,280 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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It begins with a message: a telephone call informing Krishan that his grandmother's former caregiver has died. As Krishan makes the long journey by train from the Sri Lankan capital into the war-torn Northern Province for the funeral, so he travels into the soul of a country devastated by civil war.

Written with precision and grace, A Passage North is a luminous meditation on time and consciousness, race and national identity, and a poignant exploration of the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 18mm | 216g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9781783786961
  • 10,368

Review quote

A Passage North is written with scrupulous attention to nuance and detail... at its center is an exquisite form of noticing, a way of rendering consciousness and handling time that connects Arudpragasam to the great novelists of the past -- Colm Toibin Mesmerizing, political, intimate, unafraid - this is a superb novel, a novel that pays such close, intelligent attention to the world we all live in * Sunjeev Sahota * A Passage North is a novel of consciousness alert to the turning of history and the micronavigations of bodies in a room. I''ve rarely read something so exquisitely alive -- Naoise Dolan It can take just two novels to establish a writer as one of the most individual minds of their generation... With his new novel, a revelatory exploration of the aftermath of war, Arudpragasam cements his reputation... [An] extraordinary and often illuminating novel * Financial Times * Anuk Arudpragasam's A Passage North is a profound and disquieting account of the making of a self, of the pressures of history, desire, will, and chance that determine the shape of a life. It's difficult to think of comparisons for Arudpragasam's work among current English-language writers; one senses, reading his two extraordinary novels, a new mastery coming into being -- Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness and What Belongs to You Life is short but remembering is long. In the aftermath of war, Anuk Arudpragasam's rich, rewarding sentences return the reader to all that is living -- Amitava Kumar Anuk Arudpragasam is an artist of revelations. In A Passage North, he continues to map, with beauty, grace, and fire, the responsibilities we carry in a world that is forever on the brink. This is a novel as both an elegy and a love song, not only for a place, but for the souls, living and dead, who are bound to that place-what an unforgettable and perfect reading experience, and one that unearths truths, relentlessly, magically -- Paul Yoon A novel of tragic power and uncommon beauty. In his depiction of the processes through which history sculpts human fate, Anuk Arudpragasam achieves something akin to grace

I am also pasting below the full round-up of praise, which is mostly American, but I am still hoping that some of my Brits might come good... -- Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena A beautiful, urgent novel of displacement, love and atrocity set on a single long journey. Arudpragasam has achieved something extraordinary here - a philosophical novel that draws you in through the sheer depth and elegance of its ideas and expression until you feel like you're stowing away in the protagonist's mind -- Luke Kennard A novel of philosophic suspense, one whose reader shivers in anticipation not of what will happen next but of where the next thought will lead... A luminously intelligent, psychologically intricate novel-slow in always rewarding ways * Kirkus * A young man ruminates about Sri Lankan history and his own life in the introspective latest from Arudpragasam...Readers who enjoy contemplative, Sebaldian narratives will appreciate this * Publishers Weekly * The author of The Story of a Brief Marriage casts a spell in his sumptuous new novel... reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost * Oprah Daily's Best Books of July * Profound... hypnotic... Arudpragasam explores the desire for independence that enflamed the decades-long civil war, the violence that ensued and the emotional scars that refuse to heal * Observer * A disquieting and contemplative book that seeks to comprehend the incomprehensible... With considered thoughts on everything from smoking to meditation, life and death, [Arudpragasam''s] new novel is a treasure trove of insight and wisdom, a reminder of "how large and unknown the world was, how much it seemed to contain" * Irish Times * A beautiful, meditative book... so moving * Literary Friction * It is an incredibly introspective work. Through the particularities of Krishan's experience and inner life, Arudpragasam seamlessly unfurls ruminations on intimacy, trauma, and the passage of time * Paris Review * Arudpragasam is a patient and meticulous observer. * Guardian * Anuk Arudpragasam's mesmerising second novel is a haunting portrait of a young man indelibly marked by his nation's troubled history -- Jane Shilling * Daily Mail *
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About Anuk Arudpragasam

Anuk Arudpragasam was born in Colombo and currently lives between Sri Lanka and India. His debut novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage, won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize as well as the Internationaler Literaturpreis. He received a doctorate in philosophy from Columbia University in 2019.
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Rating details

4,280 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 23% (985)
4 39% (1,686)
3 28% (1,196)
2 8% (323)
1 2% (90)
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