Thrity Umrigar, who “displays an impressive talent for conceiving multidimensional, sympathetic characters with life-like emotional quandaries and psychological stumbling blocks,” (Washington Post Book World) brings her talent to the social struggles of modern day Bombay in THE SPACE BETWEEN US.
“This is a story intimately and compassionately told against the sensuous background of everyday life in Bombay.”— Washington Post Book World
“Bracingly honest.”— New York Times Book Review
The author of Bombay Time, If Today Be Sweet, and The Weight of Heaven, Thrity Umrigar is as adept and compelling in The Space Between Us—vividly capturing the social struggles of modern India in a luminous, addictively readable novel of honor, tradition, class, gender, and family. A portrayal of two women discovering an emotional rapport as they struggle against the confines of a rigid caste system, Umrigar’s captivating second novel echoes the timeless intensity of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible—a quintessential triumph of modern literary fiction.
Thrity Umrigar is the author of seven novels Everybody’s Son, The Story Hour, The World We Found, The Weight of Heaven, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet, and Bombay Time; a memoir, First Darling of the Morning; and a children’s picture book, When I Carried You in My Belly. A former journalist, she was awarded a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard and was a finalist for the PEN Beyond Margins Award. A professor of English at Case Western Reserve University, she lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Umrigar is a perceptive and often piercing writer.... Her portrait of Sera as a woman unable to transcend her middle-class skin feels bracingly honest.” — New York Times Book Review
“[The Space Between Us] is a great book; I love it.... I couldn’t stop reading until Bhima had her amazing epiphany of freedom at the edge of the sea. I am so happy for Thrity Umrigar! And proud of her as a woman, too.... It is so precious to have a book about a woman one rarely even “sees” in society, whether Indian or American.” — Alice Walker on THE SPACE BETWEEN US
“Remarkable.... What makes The Space Between Us so engrossing is its ability to make readers feel empathy for its subjects.... To read Umrigar’s novel is to catch a glimpse of a foreign culture, for better and for worse. Yet while the class divide between Bhima and Sera provides much of the conflict in The Space Between Us, it isn’t the only source of disagreement. Class colors everything, but in the end, Umrigar shows, every one of life’s ups and downs are available to us all.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Thrity Umrigar has created two wonderfully sympathetic characters who do much to make [India’s] complex nature comprehensible.... This is a story intimately and compassionately told against the sensuous background of everyday life in Bombay.... The life of the privileged is harshly measured against the life of the powerless, but empathy and compassion are evoked by both strong women, each of whom is forced to make a separate choice. Umrigar is a skilled storyteller, and her memorable characters will live on for a long time.” — Frances Itani, Washington Post Book World
“With humanity and suspense, novelist Thrity Umrigar tackles love, loyalty, injustice - and survival.” — Marie Claire
“Umrigar renders a collection of compelling and complex characters, from kind, conflicted Sera to fiercely devoted Bhima. Sadness suffuses this eloquent tale, whose heart-stopping plot twists reveal the ferocity of fate.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Set in contemporary Bombay, Umrigar’s second novel is an affecting portrait of a woman and her maid, whose lives, despite class disparity, are equally heartbreaking.... A subtle, elegant analysis of class and power. Umrigar transcends the specifics of two Bombay women and creates a novel that quietly roars against tyranny.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Poignant.” — Entertainment Weekly
“Umrigar’s schematic novel illustrates the intimacy, and the irreconcilable class divide, between two women in contemporary Bombay.... Umrigar’s writing achieves clarity.” — Publishers Weekly
“From page one, Thrity Umrigar’s novel thrusts us into a story that’s at once heartbreaking and soothing. Chronicling the tumultuous lives of two women, The Space Between Us doesn’t flinch from its scrutiny of human suffering; then it gently, gently guides us toward healing.” — Samrat Upadhyay, author of The Royal Ghosts
“A deeply affecting novel about a wealthy widow and her maid, who form a bond across the gulfs of class and status in modern-day Bombay.” — Life magazine
“Sadness suffuses this eloquent tale, whose heart-stopping plot twists reveal the ferocity of fate.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Heartbreaking.... A subtle, elegant analysis of class and power... that quietly roars against tyranny.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Intimately and compassionately told.... Sensuous.... Umrigar’s memorable characters will live on for a long time.” — Frances Itani, Washington Post Book World
“Umrigar is a perceptive and often piercing writer.” — New York Times Book Review
“[The Space Between Us] is provocative and disturbing.” — Boston Globe
“Umrigar is a highly skilled storyteller...the novel’s plot and depth of characterisation provide irresistible momentum.” — Time Out New York
“Umrigar’s imagery, gorgeous yet unflinching in its realism, creates a rich picture of Indian society in Bombay, from slum to skyscraper. Her symbolism is lovely.” — Charlotte Observer
"The Space Between Us is a novel that is hard to forget." — The Times (London)