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The Chat with Camilla Gibb

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Celebrated author Camilla Gibb has returned with The Relatives, her first novel in nearly a decade. She’s our guest this week on The Chat.

A rave review in the Toronto Star calls The Relatives a testament to Gibbs’ position as one of Canada’s great storytellers. “Gibb’s taut, suspenseful prose urges us ever forward, probing the deeper connections among her beautifully flawed family of characters. Can any of us escape our prisons, fulfill our best intentions? Taking us into the bright and the dark, worlds known and unknown, Gibb’s multi-layered tale solves these mysteries with the immense satisfaction that only the best storytellers can deliver.”

Camilla Gibb was born in London, England, and grew up in Toronto. She is the author of four internationally acclaimed novelsMouthing the Words, The Petty Details of So-and-so's Life, Sweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement—as well as the bestselling memoir This is Happy. Camilla has been the recipient of the Trillium Book Award, the City of Toronto Book Award, and the CBC Canadian Literary Award and has been shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She has a PhD from Oxford University and is an adjunct faculty member of the graduate creative writing program …

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Shree Ghatage on Thirst, Desire, and Arranged Marriages

Thirst, by Shree Ghatage (Doubleday Canada).

Set in mid-century India and England against the backdrop of WWII, Thirst, by Shree Ghatage (Doubleday), tells the story of unexpected love born out of an arranged marriage between Vasanti and Baba and how their worlds fall apart after Baba decides to study abroad in London.

49th Shelf talks with Shree Ghatage about desire—"the lynchpin that separates humans from animals"—and her story of a passionate marriage, arranged then torn apart.

Julie Wilson: Thirst is set in India and London, in the early 40s, against the backdrop of World War II. What drew you to this time period?

Shree Ghatage: Thirst is the second novel in a trilogy that began with Brahma’s Dream. There were two characters in Brahma’s Dream—Vasanti and her husband, Baba—who stayed with me even after I had finished working on the book. So when I began to write the first draft of Thirst, the character of Baba, almost unbidden, came foremost to mind, and I was quickly drawn into developing an account of his life. The fact that my first novel was set against the backdrop of India’s 1940’s independence movement meant that Baba’s story would also play out during that era. As it happens, England in World War II became a prolific setting and time period in which to explore the nuances of memory …

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