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Her books have been published in over fifteen countries. Poor and illiterate, Bhima had faithfully worked for the Dubash family, an upper-middle-class Parsi household, for more than twenty years. Yet after courageously speaking the truth about a heinous crime perpetrated against her own family, the devoted servant was cruelly fired. A woman who has endured despair and loss with stoicism, Bhima must now find some other way to support herself and her granddaughter, Maya. The two acquaintances soon form a tentative business partnership, selling fruits and vegetables at the local market.

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As they work together, these two women seemingly bound by fate grow closer, each confessing the truth about their lives and the wounds that haunt them. Discovering her first true friend, Bhima pieces together a new life, and together, the two women learn to stand on their own.

A novel, short story, poem, essay, anything you believe should be mandatory reading? One Hundred Years of Solitude. Because it was one of those rare occasions where the film was better than the book. And that everyone has a story to tell but most people get distracted by other things in life and so their stories remain untold. I still love the writing part.

And more and more, writers are expected to market their own books on social media etc.

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Any Lit Festival anecdote you want a share? A great meeting with a fan? An epiphany? Favorite memory is when an Indian reader, who was temporarily in the U. After she read my novel, The Space Between Us, she said the novel changed her life. Soniah Kamal is an award winning essayist and fiction writer.

Her TEDx talk is about regrets and redemption. She currently teaches creative writing at Rhineheart University and reviews books for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The Secrets Between Us: A Novel (Paperback) | Ouray Bookshop

Mike Chen : Here and Now and Then, a novel. Colleen Oakley : Before I Go, a novel. And I have also batted away their requests for a sequel because I felt that I had said everything I had wanted to say about the peculiar institution that is the employment of domestic servants in India, in Space. And I was not interested in telling the same story twice. But over the years, I have often wondered about a minor character who nobody has ever asked about—Parvati, the disfigured vegetable vendor, who Bhima treats with horror and contempt.

The novel tells us that Parvati earns her living selling six heads of cauliflower a day. And this has always aroused my curiosity.

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How on earth does one survive on such a meager income? And what life circumstances have reduced this poor woman, barely mentioned in Space , to her threadbare existence? Who was Parvati and what was her life story? It occurred to me that the time period of the novel—around or —was exactly when globalization had taken root in India and the country was buoyant with hope and giddy with economic prosperity.

For the first time, class mobility seemed possible and young people were at the vanguard of shifts in cultural mores. But what about two, rickety, marginalized old women?

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Could this new India have room for them to prosper and grow? Or would these new currents of change simply sweep past them? I found myself excited to test these questions by placing Bhima and Parvati against the background of a changing country and to capture some of its optimism and daring. When readers would express sympathy for Bhima, I would ask them to also consider Sera, who had to choose between her friendship with Bhima and her loyalty to her family.

I hope the reader will see the price Sera has paid for her choice. The book also engages with the fact that humans need more than money to feel fully human. They need family.

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