One Small Voice
An Observer best debut novel for 2023
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Published: 23rd Feb '23
Available, normally delivered within 3-6 days.
AN OBSERVER BEST DEBUT NOVEL FOR 2023
'A joy to read, a full universe of feeling, an effortless page-turner by a born storyteller' Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers
'Devastating and intimate, and political and radical all at the same time. Bhattacharya's storytelling talents are limitless' Nikesh Shukla
'Exceptional ... you have complete faith that Bhattacharya will take you to all the right places. Heartbreaking and yet so full of hope' Melody Razak, author of Moth
India, 1992. The country is ablaze with riots. In Lucknow, ten-year-old Shubhankar witnesses a terrible act of mob violence that will alter the course of his life: one to which his family turn a blind eye.
As he approaches adulthood, Shabby focuses on the only path he believes will buy him an escape - good school, good degree, good job, good car. But when he arrives in Mumbai in his twenties, he begins to question whether there might be other roads he could choose. His new friends, Syed and Shruti, are asking the same questions : together, buoyed by the freedom of the big city, they are rewriting their stories.
But as the rising tide of nationalism sweeps across the country, and their friendship becomes the rock they all cling to, this new life suddenly seems fragile. And before Shabby can chart his way forward, he must reckon with the ghosts of his past . . .
Dazzling and deeply moving, One Small Voice is a novel of modern India: of violence and prejudice, friendship and loyalty, community and tradition, and of a young man coming of age in a country on fire.
'Bhattacharya has the enviable ability to create a cast of characters that feel as real as any person I've met. His effortless writing sings on the page, and by the time you get to the end, you'll wish you didn't have to leave his mind so soon' Kasim Ali, author of Good Intentions
'Whilst the plot turns on our capacity for cruelty, Bhattacharya's book brims with compassion. A novel about the complexities of adulthood, and the shame we all carry, that is both fearless and kind' Clare Pollard, author of Delphi
A joy to read, a full universe of feeling, an effortless page-turner by a born storyteller. One Small Voice is the great contemporary middle class Indian novel, showing us ordinary people knocked about by the specific sociopolitical currents of turn-of-the-century India, but also wrestling with universal challenges of family, ambition, friendship and shame * Max Porter *
A major talent arrives in Santanu Bhattacharya, with this expansive, impressive debut that manages to be devastating and intimate, and political and radical all at the same time. Bhattacharya's storytelling talents are limitless: with Shabby, Shruti and Syed, he has created a cast of characters who will stay with me for a long time * Nikesh Shukla *
An exceptional debut. Bhattacharya gives us India in all its messy glory. There is a timeless, mythical quality to this book and yet it manages to be so perfectly contemporary, touching on politics and family and friendship all through the eyes of a boy caught in a moment of darkness, trying to find his way out. The narrative simmers with violence, past and present. The structure is tightly held and from the start you have complete faith that Bhattacharya will take you to all the right places. Heartbreaking and yet so full of hope * Melody Razak, author of Moth *
Bhattacharya has the enviable ability of creating a cast of characters that feel as real as any person I've met. His effortless writing sings on the page, and by the time you get to the end, you'll wish you didn't have to leave his mind so soon * Kasim Ali, author of Good Intentions *
Whilst the plot turns on our capacity for cruelty, Bhattacharya's book brims with compassion. A novel about the complexities of adulthood, and the shame we all carry, that is both fearless and kind * Clare Pollard, author of Delphi *
One Small Voice is a thrilling novel about how one horrific incident can echo through a life, changing it irrevocably. Bhattacharya writes beautifully about friendship, family and the devastating consequences of secrecy and shame in a narrative that powerfully evokes the complexities of coming of age in modern India * Ben Fergusson, author of Tales from the Fatherland *
An emotional and bold portrait of the often hidden realities of sectarian violence and burgeoning growth of modern India, exploring the impact of circumstances on our collective psyche through characters we bond with. A rare voice that rewards us with hope and recognition * Tice Cin, author of Keeping the House *
[A] beautiful coming-of-age novel * Observer, Meet the 10 Best Debut Novelists for 2023 *
Instinctively humane. India is here in all its senses ... Epic in scope and yet composed of intimate moments ... It's the assured control of the writing that endures, and the hopefulness and yearning for a better future that infuses the latter part of this book. A portrait of both intolerance and forgiveness, growth and letting go, One Small Voice will be one of the best debuts this year * Guardian *
'An intoxicating portrait of modern India, riven with internal political and cultural tensions, caught precariously between its colonial past and its ruthlessly modernising future ... Terrific' * Daily Mail *
Dimensions: 222mm x 144mm x 36mm