Everything The Light Touches
AUTHOR: Janice Pariat
PUBLISHER: Fourth Estate | Harper Collins
In Everything the Light Touches we meet many travellers: Shai, a young Indian woman who journeys to India’s northeast and rediscovers, through her encounters with indigenous communities, ways of living that realign and renew her. Evelyn, an Edwardian student at Cambridge who, inspired by Goethe’s botanical writings, embarks on a journey seeking out the sacred forests of the Lower Himalayas. Linnaeus, botanist and taxonomist, who famously declared “God creates; Linnaeus organizes” and led an expedition to Lapland in 1732. And Goethe himself, who travelled through Italy in the 1780s, formulating his ideas for a revelatory text that called for a re-examination of our propensity to reduce plants—and the world—into immutable parts.
Drawing richly from scientific ideas, the novel plunges into a whirl of ever-expanding themes, and the contrasts between modern India and its colonial past, urban life and the countryside, capitalism and centuries-old traditions of generosity and gratitude, script and “song and stone.” At the heart of the book lies a tussle between different ways of seeing—those that fix and categorize, and those that free and unify.
Everything the Light Touches brings together, with startling and playful novelty, people and places that seem, at first, removed from each other in time and place. Yet all is resonance, we discover; all is connection.
Janice Pariat is the author of Boats on Land: A Collection of Short Stories and Seahorse: A Novel. She was awarded the Young Writer Award from the Sahitya Akademi and the Crossword Book Award for Fiction in 2013.
Her novella The Nine Chambered-Heart was published in the UK and in ten other languages including Italian, Spanish, French, and German.
She studied English Literature at St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Her work—including art reviews, book reviews, fiction and poetry—has featured in a wide selection of national magazines and newspapers. In 2014, she was the Charles Wallace Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Kent, UK, and a Writer in Residence at the TOJI Residency in South Korea in 2019.
Currently, she lives between Shillong and New Delhi with a cat of many names.
Follow her on twitter @JanicePariat for more updates.
|25 × 18 × 6 cm