All the Lives We Never Lived

All the Lives We Never Lived

A Novel

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"From the Man Booker Prize-nominated author of Sleeping on Jupiter, The Folded Earth, and An Atlas of Impossible Longing, a poignant and sweeping novel set in India during World War II and the present-day about a son's quest to uncover the truth about his mother. In my childhood, I was known as the boy whose mother had run off with an Englishman. The man was in fact German, but in small-town India in those days, all white foreigners were largely thought of as British. So begins the story of Myshkin and his mother, Gayatri, a rebellious, alluring artist who abandons parenthood and marriage to follow her primal desire for freedom. Though freedom may be stirring in the air of India, across the world the Nazis have risen to power in Germany. At this point of crisis, a German artist from Gayatri's past seeks her out. His arrival ignites passions she has long been forced to suppress. What follows is her life as pieced together by her son, a journey that takes him through India and Dutch-held Bali. Excavating the roots of the world in which he was abandoned, he comes to understand his long-lost mother, and the connections between strife at home and a war-torn universe overtaken by patriotism. With her signature "precise and poetic" (The Independent) writing, Anuradha Roy's All the Lives We Never Lived is a spellbinding and emotionally powerful saga about family, identity, and love"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2018
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781982100513
Characteristics: 272 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 22, 2019

This is the type of wonderful story telling for which Roy has become known. The narrative flows delightfully and pulls us along as the story unfolds. This historical novel, set in colonel India delves into topics such a nationalism, patriarchy and individual freedom, with a sensitivity that resonates with pertinence to contemporary issues across the world.

Mar 09, 2019

Anuradha Roy is a wonderful writer and this novel is a subtle story about loss and freedom. Roy's views on nationalism and patriarchy are clear although, again subtlety, communicated. A very enjoyable and thought-provoking read.

Jan 19, 2019

Took me a while to get into this book, but I was soon engaged with the Indian culture. Was enlightening to see the conflicting issues during the years of Gatryia and Mishka's lives, such as women's rights and colonialism. Author Roy mentioned Margaret Mead at one point, which made me wonder if some of the other characters were real life, like Walter Sties.


Add Age Suitability
Jan 19, 2019

altybiz thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at HCL

To Top