One Small Voice

One Small Voice

Summary

AN OBSERVER BEST DEBUT NOVEL FOR 2023
LONGLISTED FOR THE AUTHORS' CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD

'A joy to read, a full universe of feeling, an effortless page-turner by a born storyteller
' Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers

'Devastating and intimate, and political and radical all at the same time. Bhattacharya's storytelling talents are limitless' Nikesh Shukla

'Exceptional ... you have complete faith that Bhattacharya will take you to all the right places. Heartbreaking and yet so full of hope' Melody Razak, author of Moth
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India, 1992. The country is ablaze with riots. In Lucknow, ten-year-old Shubhankar witnesses a terrible act of mob violence that will alter the course of his life: one to which his family turn a blind eye.

As he approaches adulthood, Shabby focuses on the only path he believes will buy him an escape - good school, good degree, good job, good car. But when he arrives in Mumbai in his twenties, he begins to question whether there might be other roads he could choose. His new friends, Syed and Shruti, are asking the same questions : together, buoyed by the freedom of the big city, they are rewriting their stories.

But as the rising tide of nationalism sweeps across the country, and their friendship becomes the rock they all cling to, this new life suddenly seems fragile. And before Shabby can chart his way forward, he must reckon with the ghosts of his past . . .

Dazzling and deeply moving, One Small Voice is a novel of modern India: of violence and prejudice, friendship and loyalty, community and tradition, and of a young man coming of age in a country on fire.
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'A compassionate, many-layered chronicle of trauma and recovery following mob violence in contemporary India, One Small Voice is a wonderful, timely contribution to world literature' Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of This Mournable Body

'Bhattacharya has the enviable ability to create a cast of characters that feel as real as any person I've met. His effortless writing sings on the page, and by the time you get to the end, you'll wish you didn't have to leave his mind so soon' Kasim Ali, author of Good Intentions

'Whilst the plot turns on our capacity for cruelty, Bhattacharya's book brims with compassion. A novel about the complexities of adulthood, and the shame we all carry, that is both fearless and kind' Clare Pollard, author of Delphi

Reviews

  • Epic in scope and yet composed of intimate moments ... One Small Voice will be one of the best debuts this year
    Guardian

About the author

Santanu Bhattacharya

Santanu Bhattacharya grew up in India and studied at the University of Oxford and the National University of Singapore. He won the 2021 Mo Siewcharran Prize, and his first novel, One Small Voice, was an Observer best debut novel of 2023, and was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel of the Year Award. He now lives in London.
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