The acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven returns with a breathtaking, skillfully wrought story of four women and the unbreakable ties they share.
As university students in late 1970s Bombay, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable. Spirited and unconventional, they challenged authority and fought for a better world. But much has changed over the past thirty years. Following different paths, the quartet drifted apart, the day-to-day demands of work and family tempering the revolutionary fervor they once shared.
Then comes devastating news: Armaiti, who moved to America, is gravely ill and wants to see the old friends she left behind. For Laleh, reunion is a bittersweet reminder of unfulfilled dreams and unspoken guilt. For Kavita, it is an admission of forbidden passion. For Nishta, it is the promise of freedom from a bitter fundamentalist husband. And for Armaiti, it is an act of acceptance, of letting go on her own terms even if her ex-husband and daughter do not understand her choices.
In the course of their journey to reconnect, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta must confront the truths of their lives—acknowledge long-held regrets, face painful secrets and hidden desires, and reconcile their idealistic past and their compromised present. And they will have to decide what matters most, a choice that may just help them reclaim the extraordinary world they once found.
Exploring the enduring bonds of friendship and the power of love to change lives, and offering an unforgettable portrait of modern India—a nation struggling to bridge economic, religious, gender, and generational divides—The World We Found is a dazzling masterwork from the remarkable Thrity Umrigar.
About Thrity Umrigar
Thrity Umrigaris the author of four previous novels—The Weight of Heaven, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet, and Bombay Time—and the memoir First Darling of the Morning. A journalist for nearly twenty years, she is the winner of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard and the 2009 Cleveland Arts Prize, and a 2006 finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award. She is a professor of English at Case Western Reserve University and lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
“The World We Found is stunning in its credibility and nuance. . . . This is a novel that rewards reading, and even re-reading. The World We Found is a powerful meditation.” (Boston Globe )
“There’s ample discussion to be had here on the topics of family, friendship, religion and marriage. Umrigar is a lively storyteller. The women are sympathetic characters, their relationships fully realized and deeply felt. . . . Umrigar’s evocative world is one worth finding, indeed.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune )
“Umrigar renders a vivid portrait of modern-day India as she meditates upon the power of friendship, loyalty, and love. Like her previous works, The World We Found is eloquent and evocative, bitter and sweet.” (Booklist)
Book World: Thrity Umrigar’s ‘The World We Found’
The Washington Post Book Review – February 9, 2012 (Excerpt)
In her previous and highly successful novel, “The Space Between Us,” Thrity Umrigar examined how two women of different backgrounds in India were capable of carrying on in the face of despair. Her latest novel, “The World We Found,” is set in India and the United States. It examines choices made by a group of friends and the consequences that must be borne because of each choice.
Four young women — Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita and Nishta, bound by friendship and idealism — were university students in Bombay during the late 1970s. The novel starts about 30 years later but resonates against memories of this youthful past, shared during a period of political and social upheaval in India. It had been a time when the four friends, all from different family backgrounds, had faced the world with optimism and marched into what they thought would be a future improved by their ideals and well-meaning actions.
Now, each of the women is nearing 50. Armaiti, the only one of the four who lives in the United States, learns that she has a brain tumor and six months, at most, to live. The narrative is set in motion by her wish to see her three closest friends before she dies. [Read the full article...]
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We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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