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The Edge of the Another World

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AuthorPepita Seth
Published LanguageEnglish
Publication Year2015
PublisherSpeaking Tiger
Ships By2-3 days
SKU: ST-11 Categories: , Tag:


A haunting and tender story of three women, united by an all-pervasive spirit and the threads of a love story that runs through all their lives.

The Edge of Another World is the story of three women living in different times and spaces, whose lives enmesh and interconnect in strange and unforeseen ways.

Shaken by her mothers death, Sophie, a contemporary English woman, accepts the offer of a holiday in Portugals Alentejo region, at a hotel that was once a convent. Satishan Nambiar, a historian from Malabar in Kerala, tells her about the frescoes in the convents church and the great megalithic standing stones where Sophie finds the small figure of a Madonna-like Indian goddess. Before they part, Satishan invites her to Malabar…

Born to an unknown mother during the throes of an earthquake in sixteenth-century Portugal, Ines yearns to know her origins. Although taken into a noble familys household, her life changes when Leonor, the familys younger daughter, enters a convent, taking Ines as her servant. When Lucas van Domburg, the painter commissioned to create the frescoes in the church, sees Ines, he declares her to be his Virgin, and insists on using her likeness in the murals. A tragic turn
of events leaves Ines alone in Malabar but it is here that she finally discovers her true identity.

In Malabar, Thattakkutty, a Namboodiri Brahmin girl, lives an enclosed and orthodox life in an illam a long time ago. Irked by her intelligence, her guru schemes to destroy her. Simultaneously, rumours begin that her elder sister, Arya-edathi, has an illicit relationship with
a Nambiar man. The distraught Arya-edathi dies by her own hand, and as Thattakutty runs to her, she sees that the great doors of the illam
are open. She flees out, supported by her Goddessuniting with her, rushing to meet her own fate.

Years and centuries later, the final drama of Thattakuttys life will affect both Sophie and Ines.

About the author
Pepita Seth began her career in the cutting rooms, working on British and American films. In 1970, inspired by the chance discovery of her soldier great-grandfather's 1857 diary, she made her first visit to India from Britain. She finally based herself in Thrissur in Kerala, where she now lives. Driven by her passion and respect for the region's culture and traditions, Pepita began to photograph and write about the rituals of Kerala's Hindus. In 1981, she received official permission to enter Kerala's templesÑincluding Guruvayur temple. She has lectured extensively on Kerala's traditions and exhibitions of her photographs have been held in India and in Britain and the United States. In 1995 she began focusing on a single subject: the Theyyam rituals of Malabar. In 2001, she began her research on Guruvayur temple. The resulting book: Heaven on Earth: The Universe of Kerala's Guruvayur Temple, was published in 2009. Her first novel, The Spirit Land, was published in 1994.

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