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The Folded Earth

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,115 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews


WITH HER DEBUT NOVEL, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, Anuradha Roy&amp's exquisite storytelling instantly won readers' hearts around the world, and the novel was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post and The Seattle Times.

Now, Roy ha
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Free Press (first published 2011)
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The God of Small Things by Arundhati RoyA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryThe White Tiger by Aravind AdigaMidnight's Children by Salman RushdieThe Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Best Indian Books
199th out of 658 books — 2,071 voters
Knight of Flame by Scott EderHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellWatership Down by Richard AdamsCatching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Earth, Wind and Fire
98th out of 594 books — 97 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,875)
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Mar 26, 2012 Laysee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Folded Earth is an elegiac and poetic story of love, loss, memories, and new beginnings. Set in Ranikhet, a little town in the Indian Himalaya, the story is sensitively, unsentimentally told. Lines flow like soothing music. Little wonder that this novel won the Hindu Literary Prize 2011 and made it to the Short List for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2011.

Maya, aged 25, lost her husband whom she had married against her family's wishes, in a mountaineering accident. She retreated to Ranikhet
Apr 28, 2012 Susanna rated it really liked it
The first 100 or so pages of this started out as strong as An Atlas of Impossible Longing, which I absolutely loved reading last year. I remember now why I love Anuradha Roy's writing so much - it comes off as enchanting and magical, and she says everything so eloquently and with occasional large words. I love how she interworks details from Indian history, archaeology, and culture with the main point of the story. But, unfortunately, I did not think that this book was anywhere near as fantastic ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
Beautifully written story of the tension between urban and rural life, as well as between the colonial era and modernity, in contemporary India. Maya, recently widowed, is reeling from the loss of her photographer/trekker husband, Michael, and is already estranged from her family for marrying outside her religion. She moves to the cantonment town of Ranikhet, near the western peaks of the Himalayas, in hopes of forgetting and moving on with a completely different lifestyle and cast of characters ...more
Jul 06, 2012 Mmars rated it liked it
Very quietly, Roy focuses on the remote corners of the heart and India. Sadness permeates the hamlet while nature's beauty encompasses it.

This quote, late in the book, exemplifies Roy's prowess and provides a window into the story as well:

"In winter, the air is clear enough to drink, and your eyes can travel many hundreds of miles until they reach the green of the near hills, the blue-gray beyond them, and then the snow peaks far away, which rise in the sky with the sun, and remain suspended th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 12, 2012 Garry rated it it was ok
Maya is a city girl, married to a man with a passion for mountain climbing. When he dies on an ill-fated trip, she leaves Bangalore and takes up a job as a teacher in the village of Ranikhet, near where the accident occurred. The Folded Earth, which Maya narrates, tells of how she finds her place within the small community, and learns to move on from her husband's death.
I enjoyed this book for most of its length. Maya could easily have been a 'doctor/policewoman/vet' from London moving to a rem
Chad Walker
Jun 14, 2012 Chad Walker rated it liked it
It's really, really beautiful writing. Roy creates a kind of hypnotic, dream-like state with her descriptions: for example, I remember a passage (I think around p. 150), where she describes the monsoon season in this hill town in such evocative, original language I had to read it three times. And that seems to be how Roy works: despite jumps in chronology or point of view, her very consistent, very poetic voice stitches together those pieces into a long-frame continuity. And it is a very touchin ...more
Aug 01, 2015 Piyali rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that make you pause so you can visualize the scenes described. The narrative was lyrical, poetic and cinematic. And for me, the setting was so very comfortable, like going back to something familiar and even personal. The scenes and mood of a small Indian town are very well captured in this book. I would have given this book a five star but the end, I felt was slightly contrived.
Aug 29, 2012 Diane rated it liked it
When Maya, a young Hindu woman, marries Michael, a Christian who her father disapproves of, her relationship with her family is severed. Michael was a professional photographer who claimed the mountains were in his blood, and his love for the mountains were as deep as the love he had for his wife. However just six years into their marriage, Michael dies in a mountaineering accident, and Maya finds herself all alone.

She decides to move to Ranikhet a village high in the mountains, the place her hu
Mark Staniforth
Nov 18, 2011 Mark Staniforth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It takes a special writer to fashion something out of the ordinary from such a conventional subject: in this case, the much-plundered, Kipling-esque tale of rural India's struggle to shake off the remnants of the Raj and embrace an uneasy new political and religious future.
Anuradha Roy, however, has lifted 'The Folded Earth' far above the dangers of cliche, both with the shimmering beauty of her prose and the effortless manner in which she unfurls a tale rich in warmth and humour, yet never stra
Tayyba Kanwal
Jul 05, 2012 Tayyba Kanwal rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary-fiction
A Himalayan estate and a handful of colorful characters do not a good novel make--by themselves, that is. If I had absolutely nothing else to do, I might have waded to the end of this book. But scenes just for the sake having them, and a first person narrative that bizarrely manages to get into the inner world of other characters seriously weigh down one's patience. This book has the meat, but not the bones. So reading it was like prodding around folds of flesh to see if one can find some struct ...more
Apr 09, 2015 cameron rated it liked it
I enjoyed it. The descriptions of life in the cities and the rolling, mountainous countryside are wonderful.

It's beautifully written but...the plot is thin and I was left expecting more to happen, or be resolved or even to make clearer point. It was slightly disappointing and frustrating.

I think I have to read her previous book which I understand is better.
Lakshmi Bharadwaj
Apr 28, 2016 Lakshmi Bharadwaj rated it liked it
Here, there are a thousand trees and barking deer. Corbett is summoned from the forgotten pages of history and adored. The eccentrics gather for gossip beneath deodars, and even the plaintive is grandiose. Such a contained, elegant piece of work that is still manages fluidity and is full of lucid desire. An affectionate book, copious in longing and lyricism, sensitive to the human condition, observant and sentimental. A slow elegy, edged with the subversive, smooth unpredictability of a body of ...more
Neil George
May 16, 2016 Neil George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
First of all, I read "Sleeping on Jupiter" when it was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize last year. I really liked that book. Then I read "An Atlas of Impossible Longing" a few months later and thought it equally beautiful. And now I have read "The Folded Earth" and Roy has done it again. She writes beautifully: there's nothing flamboyant about her writing, but it is a joy to read. Her characters feel real. The places they live feel real.

This book is a story primarily about a woman and a girl
Book Him Danno
This book started out with a good flow but about the half-way point it slowed down. I had to push through the pages to pick the story up again and with that the flow increased. The lives of the people living in this remote area of India were interesting and diverse. The sadness and loss I felt in the beginning returned at the end. Such heartbreak and despair for one person seems unbearable.

The relationships Maya experienced in her life were varied and yet each left its mark on her personality a
Mar 20, 2013 Dorothy rated it liked it
I was prepared to love this book--I was blown away by her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing--but I couldn't. It is, however, a good story and a lovely read. The writing is beautiful, especially her descriptions of the environment--the novel is in a sense a love letter to the Himalayan foothills where she lives. I also wonder if the author was aiming this book at a more Western audience than the first. It is a much more straightforward story and probably more accessible to those who kn ...more
May 19, 2012 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Beautiful, beautiful. It's Maya's (quiet but gripping) personal story, but it's also the story of the north India town, Ranikhet, where she goes to make a new life after her young husband's untimely death. The author lives in Ranikhet & says (in an interview at the end of the book) that in the novel, & the map at the front of the book, which she has drawn herself, it is fictionalized. The textures, sounds, topography, sky, plants, & animals of the place--as well as the human resident ...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
Jul 11, 2012 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it really liked it
In marrying a Christian, the narrator, Maya, has become estranged from her wealthy family in Hyderabad. But after six happy years together, her husband has died in a mountaineering accident. Rather than return to her parents, she seeks refuge in Ranikhet, a town that looks toward the mountains that so entranced her husband. Overcome with grief, she stows away his backpack, recovered from the scene of the accident, and refuses to inspect its contents. She can’t bear to know the details surroundin ...more
Aug 28, 2014 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: india
This was such a pleasant surprise - Roy is a wonderful writer and I am ready to move to Ranikhet, a fictionalized version of where the author lives - it reminded me of Narayan's Malgudi. a kind of down-to-earth scale and while there is politics and danger and modern technology, there is also a kind of good-tempered contentment and humanity. There is a plot here but I found it less interesting than the creation of place and character.

Also, one of my favorite Bollywood songs - Dum Maro Dum - is a
Jul 01, 2015 Meetu rated it really liked it
A very engaging book. The beautiful descriptions are as much a reason for reading this book as the characters that people it. It made me feel nostalgia for a bygone era and I almost never appreciate books that attempt to show the past as a better place. Perhaps because it relied on a kind of people from the past to evoke that feeling. Brave, committed, and with a very romantic worldview that I can't help but admire even as I feel it is naive. Anuradha Roy, I feel, has a wonderfully feminine voic ...more
Nov 08, 2015 Parvathy rated it liked it
The Himalayan town of Ranikhet is as much a character in the book as Maya and Charu and Diwan Sahib and Veer. Anuradha Roy has written an ode to the mountains and its people.. and to the vastness of grief and love. It's a gentle book, lyrical and quiet, with a purity of emotion that evoked strangely enough, a very ungentle and unquiet book - God of Small Things. This Roy should be explored further.
Kitty Honeycutt
Aug 16, 2012 Kitty Honeycutt rated it it was amazing
Book Title: "The Folded Earth”
Author: Anuradah Roy
Published By: Free Press
Age Recommended: 18+
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 5

Review: Maya has moved to the foothills of the Himalaya’s to find peace and serenity. She soon realizes that to keep what she has found, she’ll have to fight. If Maya can’t save her sanctuary, she may find her peace shattered and end up tossed back into the old life she escaped.
This book has it all, drama, suspense, romance, and excitement. This is a beautiful s
Aug 03, 2012 Piya rated it liked it
I would not have ended a story the way the author, Anuradha Roy, did in this one, too much like a Greek tragedy. But the depictions of Himalayan mountain life and nature are interesting and patch together a well-developed theme in this work. The attempt to give voice to a number of characters, some more forgettable than others, may have proved to be too ambitious for Roy, but there are some moments of brilliance in her writing. I give her brownie points for originality and a (somewhat predictabl ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Shivangi rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in one day. It was literally impossible for me to put it down for even one minute and the only times I did, it was because I needed to sleep and go to my classes. I'm starting to love Anuradha Roy's writing so much and it's a pity that she only has 3 books.

I felt transported to that cool, isolated village in the hills. I felt the heat and dustiness of the cities with Maya and Charu. I felt all of Maya's pain. I missed her home and her husband with her. Like her, I fell in lo
Gayatri Sharma
Sep 09, 2015 Gayatri Sharma rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 13, 2015 Cornelia rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Când îmi amintesc de acest roman, primul lucru care îmi vine în minte este o broderie lucrată cu măiestrie. Fiecare detaliu la locul potrivit, dar atât de ușor de distrus... Oare nu ne brodăm fiecare viața, ghidați de convingerile noastre, de neprevăzut, de o Forță pe care nu o putem controla?

Maya, protagonista romanului, după moartea soțului ei, se refugiază într-un sat din Himalaya... Profesoară de engleză la o școală creștină, ea se adaptează acestui trai simplu.
Îmi imaginam discuțiile savur
Jan 30, 2016 Jayati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is first novel by Anuradha Roy that i read and I was mesmerised by her prose. The ambiance of small town Ranikhet, in the foothills of the Himalayas has been created with such passion and with so much of love that I still feel as though I am surrounded by those enchanting mountain ranges.The bird calls, the hues of the sunset, the dappled light as it filters through the leaves are all so fresh in my mind.
Maya, who loses her darling of a husband to a trekking accident in the high Himalayas f
May 24, 2016 anexactinglife rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, india, book-club
A slow, detailed read about recovering from grief by belonging to a place. For me, it had the same intent as H is for Hawk, but without that book's incessant glumness. Maya and Ranikhet will stick with me. The story picked up speed in the second half and there were some twists and turns near the end!
Shahid Khan
May 17, 2015 Shahid Khan rated it really liked it
A Hindu woman, Maya, earns the wrath of her father when she falls in love with and marries a Christian man, Michael. Wedded life doesn't last long as her husband dies on a climbing expedition. Widowed and outcast, she moves to a remote town in the Himalaya. She develops friendships with Charu, a local village girl, Diwan Sahib, an elderly eccentric and enjoys a romantic rendezvous with Diwan's nephew, Veer. But none of this stems the tide of loneliness, loss and grief that lie in wait for Maya.

Jan 15, 2014 Ritwika rated it it was ok
The folded Earth was well-written, it showed a mastery of language, there were brilliant, beautiful sentences and thoughts, but in the end, it was disconnected and flat. And most of all, it has been done before; because this is what most Indian English literature sounds like, there is an ancient relic - a man - from the colonial times, somebody living in wisps of memories from the times of the kings, a heroine who exiled herself after tragedy, a self-important yet vile bureaucrat, the mountain l ...more
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Anuradha Roy was educated in Hyderabad, Calcutta and Cambridge (UK). She is an editor at Permanent Black, an independent press publishing in South Asian history, politics and culture. She lives mainly in Ranikhet, India, with her husband Rukun Advani and their dog, Biscoot.
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“The ocean exerts an inexorable pull over sea people wherever they are-in a bright-lit, inland city or the dead center of a desert-and when they feel the tug there is no choice but somehow to reach it and stand at its immense, earth-dissolving edge, straightaway calmed.” 13 likes
“Until humans came and made anthills out of these mountains, Diwan Sahib was saying, looking up at the langurs, the land had belonged to these monkeys, and to barking deer, nilgai, tiger, barasingha, leopards, jackals, the great horned owl, and even to cheetahs and lions. The archaeology of the wilderness consisted of these lost animals, not of ruined walls, terracotta amulets, and potsherds.” 6 likes
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