A book about being a teenager in Pakistan and India. Through letters we follow the lives of four girls, two wealthy and two poor, two Pakistani and two Indian. Two who know exactly what their future holds and two who are convinced that they will never measure up.
Last night there was a snowstorm that made my window disappear. I woke up gasping at the heater. This is my first letter in three years. First letter since I left Pakistan. First letter since Nusrat.
Tanya Tania is a story about two young women coming of age in two countries that are coming of age. Tanya Talati in Karachi and Tania Ghosh in Bombay, daughters of college best friends, write to each other of what cannot be said to anyone else: a mother who has gone from quiet to silent, sex that has become a weapon, a servant with unforgettably soft hands and a country beginning to play with religion. When Tanya’s brother receives a kidnapping threat, she sets in motion what no one could have predicted, least of all Tania, who finds herself alone in a forbidden bazaar in Bombay, listening to the sounds of a riot torn city coming closer and closer and closer . . .
Written in letters that span six years, Tanya Tania is a story of what it means to be between childhood and adulthood at a time when two countries are struggling with what it means to be Indian and Pakistani, rich and poor, confident and lonely. A story of love between girls, between families and between countries, Tanya Tania, is, at its heart, a love story about what it means to be human.
A warm and funny love letter written across borders - India and Pakistan need letters like these now more than ever. -- Fatima Bhutto Antara Ganguli uses a difficult literary device - letters between two Indian Pakistani protagonists - to create a narrative that immediately draws you into their intimate worlds, which are as intertwined as they are separate. Tracing their lives through a jaunty exchange of missives chronicling highs, lows, disappointments and hurts, building up gradually to disturbing events on both sides of the border, the reader gets drawn into the complex world of a friendship that refuses to recognise ugly politics but steadfastly focuses on empathy and affection. -- Shobhaa De
In Tanya Tania, Antara Ganguli effortlessly pulls off a terrific feat: she makes the redoubtable old form of the epistolary novel feel fresh and vibrant and profoundly affecting. This story of two teenaged girls grows deeper and more troubling as you read it, so that, by the end, you will be holding your breath and reading swiftly to see what happens. -- Lauren Grof
Tania Ghosh, on the threshold of a confused, unsupervised adulthood in Bombay, is in an abusive relationship with her lover. Tania Talati, her counterpart in Karachi, is hounded by political thugs' threats to kidnap her brother. The girls' stories are revealed in a candid and perceptive exchange of letters and bear witness to a cataclysmic end. Ganguli is a passionate and compelling writer. -- Bapsi SidhwaAge: 16 and up
Number of Pages: 224
Publisher: Bloomsbury India (September 27, 2016)
Author: Antara Ganguli
Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 0.3 inches