Now Reading
Chetna Maroo’s Debut Novel ‘Western Lane’ Among Six Books Shortlisted for Booker Prize

Chetna Maroo’s Debut Novel ‘Western Lane’ Among Six Books Shortlisted for Booker Prize

  • The London-based Indian author explores grief, sisterhood, and a teenage girl's struggle to transcend herself.

It took Chetna Maroo three years to write “Western Lane,” about grief, sisterhood, a teenage girl’s struggle to transcend herself – and squash. Last week, the London-based Indian author’s debut novel was among six books shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize.

“Western Lane” revolves around 11-year-old Gopi “who has been playing squash since she was old enough to hold a racket. When her mother dies, her father enlists her in a quietly brutal training regimen, and the game becomes her world.  

Slowly, she grows apart from her sisters. Her life is reduced to the sport, guided by its rhythms: the serve, the volley, the drive, the shot and its echo. But on the court, she is not alone. She is with her pa. She is with Ged, a 13-year-old boy with his own formidable talent. She is with the players who have come before her. She is in awe.”

In an interview published on the Booker Prize website, Maroo said “it’s fair” to call it a sports novel. “It’s also been called a coming-of-age novel, a domestic novel, a novel about grief, a novel about the immigrant experience,” she said.

See Also

Maroo’s stories have appeared in anthologies and have been published in the Paris Review, the Stinging Fly and the Dublin Review The Kenya-born author was the recipient of the 2022 Plimpton Prize for Fiction, awarded annually since 1993 by the Paris Review to celebrate an outstanding piece of fiction by an emerging writer published in the magazine during the preceding year. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as an accountant.

The shortlist, announced on Sept. 21, features six books by authors never previously shortlisted, including two debuts. The winner of the £50,000 prize will be announced at an event at Old Billingsgate, London, on Nov. 26.

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2020 American Kahani LLC. All rights reserved.

The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of American Kahani.
Scroll To Top