by Chetna Maroo
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Pub Date 07 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2023
A taut, enthralling first novel about grief, sisterhood, and a young athlete's struggle to transcend herself.
Eleven-year-old Gopi has been playing squash since she was old enough to hold a racket. When her mother dies, her father enlists her in a quietly brutal training regimen, and the game becomes her world. Slowly, she grows apart from her sisters. Her life is reduced to the sport, guided by its rhythms: the serve, the volley, the drive, the shot and its echo.
But on the court, she is not alone. She is with her pa. She is with Ged, a thirteen-year-old boy with his own formidable talent. She is with the players who have come before her. She is in awe.
An indelible coming-of-age story, Chetna Maroo’s first novel captures the ordinary and annihilates it with beauty. Western Lane is a valentine to innocence, to the closeness of sisterhood, to the strange ways we come to know ourselves and each other.
“Starting off as an intimate tone poem, this story of a squash-obsessed teenager expands into something with the amplitude, depth, and ringing power of a great symphony. In other words—WOW. Western Lane is glorious. You’ll want to read it over and over again.”
—Aravind Adiga, author of Amnesty
“Combining the precision and the efficiency of an athlete with the mysteries of childhood loss and memory, Western Lane is a novel in which we linger on every breathing line and relish every close observation. What an exceptionally talented writer Chetna Maroo is!”
—Yiyun Li, author of The Book of Goose
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