Tuesday 31 May 2022

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ This Place, That Place by Nandita Dinesh

Melville House is proud to be celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2022. Founded after, and in response to the 9/11 attacks their non-fiction and literary fiction aims to challenge, inform and entertain. 

Here are the highlights of 20 of their favourite titles for inspiration, 

and you can explore more books here

On its twentieth anniversary in the publishing world I am delighted to join in with this blog tour. Celebrating past and present successes with Melville House Publishers.

I'm pleased to share my review of This Place, That Place by Nandita Dinesh.

Melville House
16 June 2022

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

This Place,That Place centers on two characters from opposing sides of an unnamed war. On the day of a family wedding, a stunning announcement dramatically shifts the relationship between This Place and That Place, sparking a government-imposed curfew that locks everyone inside.

Suddenly finding themselves sharing the same isolated space, the two grapple with unexplored attraction, their deep and abiding admiration for each other’s work, and a bond they hope to save from being another casualty of war. Interwoven throughout are documents and past correspondence between the two laying out their history and how each sees in the other hope for mending the rift between This Place and That Place.

This Place,That Place is a dialogue-driven, evocative, and inventive debut that functions as an allegory for Kashmir/India, Palestine/Israel, or any instance of occupied and occupier. But more than that, it offers a new way to think about the intersection of the personal and the political, a new way to reconcile nationalism and activism, and a new way to talk about conflict and two-sidedness.

πŸ“– My Review...

I've been involved with this publisher on previous occasions and I am always struck by the inventiveness of the books they publish and the way they push boundaries thus allowing me the privilege of reading a book which is, perhaps, not something I would normally have reached out to read. I think this is certainly the case with This Place, That Place which took me out of my comfort zone and into the world of this author's imagination.

The story opens when two people who are on opposing sides of an unnamed war meet at a family wedding. On the cusp of the wedding an announcement is made which places everyone under an imposed curfew. What then follows is a rather timely story which has a distinctly dystopian atmosphere bringing into question everything about the nature of relationships conducted under duress.  

Really difficult to describe in a few words, so I won't try, except to say that there is rather a lot going on in This Place, That Place and it took me a while to become comfortable with the author's style of writing, even on occasion I found that I had to go back a few pages to get the evolving story fixed in my mind but once I understood the way the narrative was evolving I found much to ponder over. The idea of interweaving very different styles of narrative to move the story forward is what makes this book into such an interesting, and rather different sort of read.

Difficult to describe, but definitely very cleverly written and immersive, This Place, That Place is a thought provoking novel about the minutiae of lives lived in difficult circumstances. It has been both imaginatively, and inventively, written by a talented debut author,

About the Author

Nandita Dinesh holds a PhD in Drama from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and an MA in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Focused on the role that theatre and writing can play during and after violent conflict, Nandita has conducted community-based theatre projects in Kashmir, India, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. She has written multiple books about her work and in 2017 she was awarded the Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy by Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. This is her first novel.

Twitter @melvillehouse

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