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Summer of Then by Rupleena Bose

Summer of Then by Rupleena Bose

A young English literature teacher negotiates between her writing and her livelihood, her morality and her heart, her selfhood and her family’s history. She moves between cities, seasons and two men: Nikhil and Zafar―their lives getting entangled across a decade of restlessness and upheavals, their paths defined by questions of identity, desire and betrayals.

Summer of Then is a debut novel that relishes the interiority of women, especially the often-unsettling intimacies of relationships―sexual, romantic and platonic―against the trauma of sexual assault and harassment. Set across Calcutta, Delhi, Mumbai and Edinburgh, Scotland, this coming-of-age novel crosses paths with the India of the 2010s, exploring the trickle-down effect of politics on the academia and college life in Indian metropolitan cities, leading us just to the point of the incipient anxieties and beginnings of the next decade.

In the vein of Sally Rooney’s Normal People and Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and RelaxationSummer of Thenemploys a sparse yet deeply compelling voice and introspective, observational commentary to evoke precise emotional and social detail.