What the Body Remembers: A Novel

Front Cover
Anchor Books, 2001 - Fiction - 471 pages
Out of the rich culture of India and the brutal drama of the 1947 Partition comes this lush and eloquent debut novel about two women married to the same man.

Roop is a young girl whose mother has died and whose father is deep in debt. So
she is elated to learn she is to become the second wife of a wealthy Sikh landowner in a union beneficial to both. For Sardaji’s first wife, Satya, has failed to bear him children. Roop believes that she and Satya, still very much in residence, will be friends. But the relationship between the older and younger woman is far more complex. And, as India lurches toward independence, Sardarji struggles to find his place amidst the drastic changes.

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, What the Body Remembers is at once poetic, political, feminist, and sensual.

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User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

5***** and a ❤ This is an extraordinary book. The novel deals with the struggles to form Pakistan, when Muslims fought Sikhs and Hindus, and with the traditional culture vs the modern expectations. It ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LibraryCin - LibraryThing

It is India in the years leading up to independence from England and Partition, when the country will be divided into India and Pakistan. Roop has no mother, but has a father who is poor. When she is ... Read full review


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About the author (2001)

Shauna Singh Baldwin was born in Montreal and grew up in India. A former polo player and radio producer, she is presently an e-commerce consultant and lives with her Irish-American husband in Milwaukee. She is the author of English Lessons and Other Stories and coauthor of A Foreign Visitor's Survival Guide to North America. Her short stories have been published widely and have won numerous prestigious literary prizes in the United States, Canada, and India. The story "Satya," which was to become What the Body Remembers, was awarded the Saturday Night/CBC Literary Prize and was nominated for a National Magazine Award in Canada.

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