The Nine-Chambered Heart
From the winner of the Sahitya Akademi Young Writer Award and the Crossword Book Award for Fiction
Shortlisted for The Hindu Prize for Literature 2015
‘Explores with sharp beauty the mystery at the centre of loving anyone’ Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure
How does the world see you?
Nine characters illuminate an unknowable woman. From the school art teacher who sees a spark of talent in her, to the man whose fleeting passion with her could change his life, to the female student whose friendship turns into love.
Deeply affecting and luminous, this kaleidoscopic novella explores the nature of intimacy and how each connection you make forms who you are.
‘It’s the artful pleating of this subtle, psychologically astute novel that sets it apart, each shard-like vignette deepening our concern for its central character as we see into her lovers’ hearts and minds’ Daily Mail -
”'Superb. She had me at page one” - Chris Cleave
”'Sublime … Pariat writes with great elegance, her sentences rich with introspection. There’s a feeling of poetry to the language … captivating” - Irish Times
”'A tender puzzle of a book. Its bewitching premise forces us to slowly put the pieces together, our understanding of the protagonist layering with each chapter - and yet maintains the tantalising distance that the ones who've loved her experience too. We know her, but only as much as they know her. It explores with sharp beauty the mystery at the centre of loving anyone, the various things we present and project through the relationships of our lives,” - Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure
”'Whatever Janice Pariat is doing in these vignettes - unravelling layers, offering shards, making and unmaking a heart - she forces you to alter your vision. By turning the intimate eye of love inside out, she’s saying, here is the real wonder: a whole is made of many broken parts. It is a startling way to look at ourselves, to reach for the stories of our own hearts” - Tishani Doshi