The Empty Space

Geetanjali Shree

Translated by Nivedita Menon



5 x 8 inches, 272 pp. December 2016

ISBN : 9780857423948

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When a bomb explodes in a university cafe, nineteen students are killed. The Empty Space begins with the identification of these slain students. Slowly, each individual is claimed and taken away for a proper burial by their mourning family members. The final mother to enter the cafe identifies the nineteenth body as her eighteen-year-old son and brings him home in a casket. She not only brings home her dead son, though, but also the sole survivor of the blast, a three-year-old boy. By a strange quirk of fate, after the explosion he is found lying in a small empty space, alive and breathing. The Empty Space chronicles the memories of the boy dead, the story of the boy brought home, and the cataclysmic crossing of life and death.

Born in 1957, Geetanjali Shree has a PhD in history. She has written four novels and three collections of short stories in Hindi. Also to her credit is Between Two Worlds: An Intellectual Biography of Premchand (1989). The English translation of her novel Mai was shortlisted for the Hutch-Crossword Translation Award in 2000.


Nivedita Menon is a professor in political thought at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She has edited and co-written many titles and has received the A. K. Ramanujan Award for Translation.

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