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Memory of Light

Memory of Light

Ruth Vanita
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Overview

Preparations for King George the Third’s fiftieth birthday gala are in full swing in Lucknow. As poets and performers vie to be part of the show, Chapla Bai, a dazzling courtesan from Kashi, briefly enters this competitive world, and sweeps the poet Nafis Bai off her feet. An irresistible passion takes root, expanding and contracting like a wave of light. Over two summers, aided by Nafis’s friends, the poets Insha and Rangin, and Sharad-himself in love with a man-exchange letters and verses, feeding each other the heady fruit of desire. Can their relationship survive the distances between cities and households?

Remembering, dreaming, conversing and singing, Nafis tries to fathom the mystery of another’s being.

Imprint: Penguin Viking

Published: Jul/2020

ISBN: 9780670093519

Length : 224 Pages

Memory of Light

Ruth Vanita
Overview

Preparations for King George the Third’s fiftieth birthday gala are in full swing in Lucknow. As poets and performers vie to be part of the show, Chapla Bai, a dazzling courtesan from Kashi, briefly enters this competitive world, and sweeps the poet Nafis Bai off her feet. An irresistible passion takes root, expanding and contracting like a wave of light. Over two summers, aided by Nafis’s friends, the poets Insha and Rangin, and Sharad-himself in love with a man-exchange letters and verses, feeding each other the heady fruit of desire. Can their relationship survive the distances between cities and households?

Remembering, dreaming, conversing and singing, Nafis tries to fathom the mystery of another’s being.

Select Preferred Format

Ruth Vanita

Ruth Vanita taught at Delhi University for 20 years and is now Professor at the University of Montana. She was founding co-editor of Manushi 1978-90. She is the author of several books, including Sappho and the Virgin Mary: Same-Sex Love and the English Literary Imagination (1996); Love's Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India (2005); Gandhi's Tiger and Sita's Smile: Essays on Gender, Sexuality and Culture (2005), Gender, Sex and the City: Urdu Rekhti Poetry in India 1780-1870 (2012); Dancing with the Nation: Courtesans in Bombay Cinema (2017). Her first novel, Memory of Light, appeared in 2020.
She is the author of over 60 articles on British and Indian literature, and has translated many works of fiction and poetry from Hindi and Urdu to English, most notably Chocolate: Stories on Male-Male Desire by Pandey Bechan Sharma 'Ugra' (2008). She divides her time between Missoula and Gurgaon.


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The Night Sparkled and So Did All of Us

Memory of Light is a tender romance of two young courtesans in Nawabi-era Lucknow. The entire novel unfolds through the narrator, Nafis Bai’s memory of events, lending it her unique voice, which stays with the reader. Intrigued? Read an excerpt from the book below: Late at night before the big occasion, I tried the outfit […] Read More