Shobha Rao debut panel
ALA Midwinter Debut Authors panel (Shobha Rao is first row, far right)

If you were lucky enough to be at ALA Midwinter’s AAP/LibraryReads Debut Authors panel, then you know all about Shobha Rao‘s exceptional talent.

Born in India but raised in Indiana, Rao was treated like an outsider and spent most of her time in the school library alone, deeply grateful that the librarians let her just “be.” The inspiration for her linked story collection, AN UNRESTORED WOMAN, is rooted in the history of the “Partition” between India and Pakistan following independence from Britain in 1947. The transfer of populations between the two countries is considered the largest peacetime migration in all of human history.

“Though the commonly used term for these women is recovered women, I have chosen to refer to them as restored. The distinction may seem trivial, but it is necessary, for I believe that while the recovery of a person is possible, the restoration of a human being to her original state is not.” — Shobha Rao

Talia and Anne were early champions of this stunning debut, and now AN UNRESTORED WOMAN has received two starred advance reviews:

“With a sophisticated sense of pacing and patience, the stories build on one another by focusing on how the actions of those in power affect vulnerable women and children on both sides of the divide…. Rao’s language is particularly good at reflecting the interior lives of her characters. Stunning and relentless.
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Raw and breathtaking… Exquisite turns of phrase and editing with a fine-edged scalpel only add to an outstanding and memorable debut.” — Booklist, starred review

AN UNRESTORED WOMAN will be available from Flatiron Books on March 15, 2016.

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