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Latitudes of Longing

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  644 ratings  ·  125 reviews
A sweeping, lyrical debut about the love and longing between humanity and the earth itself, by a major new literary talent from India

A spellbinding work of literature, Latitudes of Longing follows the interconnected lives of characters searching for true intimacy. The novel sweeps across India, from an island, to a valley, a city, and a snow desert to tell a love story of
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by One World
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  • Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup
    Latitudes of Longing
    Release date: Apr 05, 2020
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    Giveaway dates: Feb 18 - Mar 08, 2020

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    Average rating 4.07  · 
    Rating details
     ·  644 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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    Resh (The Book Satchel)
    Fabulous read. I have SO MANY thoughts. Definitely recommended!
    Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    What a beautiful book this was!! Easily one of the best books I have read till date.

    This book is divided in four sections, Islands, Faultline, Valley and Snow desert.
    It covers a vast canvas from the Andamans, Burma(Myanmar), Nepal and the no man's land separating India and Pakistan.
    Each page has been written with such conviction, laden with description which makes it very lyrical. Reading it felt like the oceans and mountains coming together and narrating a beautiful story. It felt like I was
    Rakhi Dalal
    What can you say of a work which stuns you with the lyrical intensity of its prose right through to the middle and then makes you shift uneasily in your place as you try to understand the wayward course the narrative assumes further thereby letting you suddenly jerk from your stupor and making you want to skip some pages because the prose feels all too repetitive providing no reprieve till the end.

    For a debut work, the author's style is worthy of praise. I loved how the writing seemed almost
    Khyati Gautam
    Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Latitudes of Longing is a lyrical debut that definitely marks the arrival of a fantastic literary talent. Covering a vast expanse of land, people, and numerous stories, this book has everything to offer you. It is astonishing, riveting, emotionally enriched, and wonderfully crafted!
    A book filled with varied life-forms ranging from turtle to humans, a book comprising different landscapes – from Andamans to the Karakoram passes, a book which speaks many stories – of a clairvoyant lady to the one
    Mansi Mudgal
    Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Latitudes of Longing is a book that is beautiful and lyrical, something that is read and savoured slowly to fully immerse oneself in this journey; a journey that spans a few decades or thousands of years? We must find out ourselves.

    The story follows the life of Girija Prasad, a man and a scientist in Andaman Islands in the newly independent India. It talks of the inhabitants in this place and the surrounding environment. Nature or to be more specific “Earth” is the binding as well as connecting
    Nidhi Mahajan
    Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Originally posted on my blog.

    An Origin Story: Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup

    In the Acknowledgements of her debut novel, Latitudes of Longing, Shubhangi Swarup writes that her muse is “our unassuming planet, a being that bears more beauty, magic and resilience than this human mind can fathom.” It took Swarup about seven years to somewhat gauge this being and paint a picture of it in words.

    Latitudes of Longing comprises four interconnected stories, though numerous human and non-human
    Surabhi Chatrapathy
    I love books that stretch my imagination, books that hold my attention and tie me to a chair until I finish it. Latitudes of Longings was one such book for me.

    Every page is written from the depths of a deep meditation. As though the ocean bed has paitently stitched this novel together over centuries. The movement is so subtle, that you could easily miss it.

    I feel as though I've seen, touched and spoken to the soul of the Andaman Islands. They seemed to have poured their deepest secrets into
    Aaaaah, what a beautiful BEAUTIFUL book. I can not recommend this enough.

    A debut novel of Shubhangi Swarup, the prose and the thought behind this book just swept me away. Full of love, loss, family, friendship and everything in between - this book had me hooked in just the first few pages.

    Broken into four parts, each part uncovers the lives of different people in different parts of the Indian subcontinent. But you'll see as time goes by that everything is connected. My favourite will always be
    Sailee Dhole
    Picked it up because of so many great reviews about this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the first part. It’s beautifully written and the plot line is excellent. But the book seemed to drag in the second part and completely lost me by the third part. It seemed the author was trying too hard to insert metaphors which flowed so seamlessly in the first part. Started with high hopes but disappointed.
    Sahil Pradhan
    Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favorites, fiction
    Disclaimer: The book deserves more than five stars. May be ten or more!

    A brilliant debut that blends natural with supernatural, human with otherworldly

    Latitudes of Longing sweeps through worlds and times that are inhabited by a scientist who studies trees and a clairvoyant who talks to them; Lord Goodenough who travels around the furthest reaches of the Raj, giving names to nameless places; a geologist working towards ending futile wars over a glacier; octogenarian lovers; a superstitious
    Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    A Splendid novel that moves smoothly - highly recommended for all types of readers.
    Karuna Parikh
    The book begins beautifully in the Andamans just post independence in India. The characters in this first section are enigmatic, well thought out and easy to fall in love with. The geography and mythology here are spot on, but just as youre ready to sink you're teeth into the novel it begins to unravel. The next two sections of the book are a meandering mess with connections between characters so loose and unbelievable they end up feeling a little pointless. The places Swarup explores post ...more
    Gitanshi Tuteja
    Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This was definitely one of the best read of this year.

    All the feels. This was one overwhelming read and I was left in awe, I remember calling my friend and asking him to read it asap so that I can discuss it with him.

    Recommend it!
    Aditi Jaiswal
    Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    She dreamt of the strange inhabitants of different cosmic realms whose emotions areshone with exceptional clarity in the blurred longing. The place maybe be an Island or snow dessert but themuse of this novel is in its white pages with black ink that bears more beauty and magic than a human mind can fathom.

    Truly the author is a gifted writer, her imagination carry us to the world we have never been and without it we go nowhere, I wouldn’t have experience colonial ghost if it was not Lord
    Vasudhendra Vasudhendra
    Focus is more on using flowery language. Story construction skills are poor.
    Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Seemita by: Shubhangi Swarup
    A strong 3.5 stars.
    Ankit Bhardwaj
    Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book is such a breath of fresh air, and Shubhangi Swarup is a talent with a unique style and a relentless knack for thoughtful one-liners.

    The book reads as a result of much reflection on bordered social life in an unbordered natural world. It is a book where islands, mountains, sea, towns and prisons are intertwined, and the characters are caught moving between them, part out of their agency, part out of circumstance, part because of natural tendency.

    The novel's characters are imperfect,
    Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is one of the most beautiful books I have read in recent months. The prose is stunning and the tender and delicate handling of the story really made the reading experience so tranquil. Shubhangi Swarup writes with great empathy and ecological consciousness about the relationship between civilization and nature, about life and death and loneliness and reprieve. I loved the magical realistic elements invoking a great sense of the continuum we live in. The first portion of the book, Islands, ...more
    Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Thanks to Random House One World, via NetGalley, for this advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.

    The settings of the Andaman Islands, Burma, Kathmandu, and the Karakoram Mountains immediately ticked off my boxes. These four interlinked stories are beautifully written, richly imagined, and intricately plotted. Overwhelmingly, the book has a mood that evokes faraway tales, deep emotions, warm recognition, and breathless awe. The first story, about 40% of the book, is the most
    Roshan Singh
    Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book is made of stuff dreams are made of. I did not read this book, I dreamt it. Each sentence is sheer poetry. I surrendered myself completely from the first page, from then on I was carried away like a twig in the wind. There's just two other books which have been such rewarding reading experiences and those two have been debuts as well. "God of small things" by Arundhati Roy, "Boats on land" by Janice Pariat and now "Latitudes of longing" by . These are my absolute favourite books. I ...more
    Simran Sharma (Craartology)
    Shubhangi Swarup's debut novel is gripping and profound piece of literature. A book based on four landscapes of Islands, Faultline, Valley and Snow desert with ornate descriptions of the same. Each landscape has stories of characters with a longing for an experience that's can't be explained but rather felt and experienced.

    Girija Prasad, Chanda Devi, Devi,Mary,Plato,Thapa, Bebo, Apo, Ghazala and Rana explain so much about life's past, present and future in just a one book. The characters of the
    Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    What an amazing first novel!
    Faultlines, earthquakes, longings, the past, and the future. Such rich characters. And prose that’ll make you cry!

    Starting in Andaman with a scientist and his clairvoyant wife, moving to Burma and a woman’s struggle to get her son released, and the son’s fights. To Nepal and a man’s rediscovery of life amidst solitude. And them the story of love blooming amidst octogenarians in the high Himalayas. A river. A turtle. A sea. A desert. All of them where the lonely Indian
    Chandan Sinha
    Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction
    If you would have asked me what does a 'lyrical' novel means, before reading this book, I couldn't have told you for sure. I still can't put it in exact words but now I have this notion, an intuition of sorts about what lyrical writing constitutes of. Subhangi Swarup has created an unprecedented masterpiece through her debut novel - 'Latitudes of Longing', telling a poignant tale of longing spanning across time and places with distinct geographical features, hence beautifully justifying its ...more
    Oct 26, 2019 added it
    Shelves: adult, 2019
    My favorite fiction I've read all year—like Arundhati Roy meets Gabriel García Márquez. LATITUDES OF LONGING takes readers throughout and beyond human time, cataloguing immense loves and losses and the always-changing nature of the earth itself. Swarup captures the tiny quirks of humans and the breathtaking scope of the planet we inhabit with deftness and lyricism. Like the plates of the earth, we are all connected to one another, and in our interactions we leave indelible impressions.
    Good debut, mixed narrative. First story is brilliant. 3.5

    It is indeed a significant debut and lives up to the hype about 70%. Why only 70%, you ask? Read ahead -
    Each paragraph is well thought-out and thoroughly researched. On googling Swarup, I wasn't surprised to know she is an avid backpacker. Yes, the nature of sentiment expressed in the interwoven stories can arise only from intense travel experiences and the hunger to explore people that constitute these places. Swarup has picked
    Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Latitudes of Longing is a collection of stories of various characters — Chanda Devi, Girija Prasad, Mary, Plato, Devi, Thapa, Ghazala, Bebo — and their arcs connected/related to each other.

    It takes you travelling through islands and mountains! The book is filled with geological and historic details told in a beautiful lyrical manner. I found the first part of the book to be very alluring, and the characters were very charismatic; they made sure that I remained engrossed in the story. I wanted
    It started off well and the first part is brilliantly written. In later parts it completely went off the track and I failed to understand the whole point of these stories. Too many metaphors overshadow the content.
    Beautiful and lyrical writing doesn't necessarily make a good book and Latitudes of Longing is, for me, the living example of that.
    3.5 stars for an exceptional debut.

    Shubhanshu Swarup’s book consists of four parts, each taking place in a different geography but intersecting briefly with its characters.
    I am blown away by the first story - ‘Islands’, by its character Chanda Devi, who speaks directly to my conscience. I won’t try describing her or her story, as some things must simply be experienced to know how wondrous they are. The novel belongs as much to the islands and the mountains and the oceans as it does to its
    Radhika Saimbi
    Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
    Debut book by @swarupshubhangi is a page-turner. Written lyrically, every sentence is meant to be savoured. If you are someone who enjoys intertwining of words and phrases then this book is certainly for you. I am astounded by the attempt to include the immense vastness of feelings and ideas, upholding the messages very subtly.

    Book has Four interlinked, but different stories, set up in different landscapes with mutual emotions, longings and silence being the commonest. I have loved how the
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    Shubhangi Swarup is a journalist and educationist. She was awarded the Charles Pick Fellowship for Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, and has also won awards for gender sensitivity in feature writing. She lives in Mumbai.
    “What is the purpose of belief if even god can't put the world back the way you worshipped it ?” 8 likes
    “Compared to all the glorious lives one can lead, the human one is quite a chore.” 4 likes
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