The Archer

The Archer

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Kiese Laymon called Shruti Swamy’s debut book of stories, A House Is a Body, “one of the greatest short story collections of the 2020s.” Now, Swamy brings us an accomplished and immersive coming-of-age novel set in the Bombay of the 1960s and 1970s.
 
As a child, Vidya exists to serve her family, watch over her younger brother, and make sense of a motherless world. One day she catches sight of a class where the students are learning Kathak, a precise, dazzling form of dance that requires the utmost discipline and focus. Kathak quickly becomes the organizing principle of Vidya’s life, even as she leaves home for college, falls in love with her best friend, and battles demands on her time, her future, and her body. Can Vidya give herself over to her art and also be a wife in Bombay’s carefully delineated society? Can she shed the legacy of her own imperfect, unknowable mother? Must she, herself, also become a mother?

Intensely lyrical and deeply sensual, with writing as rhythmically mesmerizing as Kathak itself, The Archer is about the transformative power of art and the possibilities that love can open when we’re ready.

Title:The Archer
ISBN:9781616209902
Format Type:

    The Archer Reviews

  • Debra

    "Sometimes god puts a soul in the wrong body. You should have been a boy with your nature." Vidya, as a child served her family. She carried around a huge amount of responsibility and expectations ...

  • luce

    | | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | | Throughout the course of reading The Archer, I was painfully aware that I was in fact reading a novel. That is to say, I did not think this was a particularly ‘immers...

  • Fanna

    Poetic. Solitary. Universal. A tale of restless passion and rhythmic persistence to experience the excellence of being oneself through a performing art that transports through life.The Archer is a com...

  • Jessica Woodbury

    This is absolutely my sweet spot of literary fiction. It's engrossing and interesting, it's able to play with structure and/or language without being inaccessible, it makes you think and makes you car...

  • Nenia ? I yeet my books back and forth ? Campbell

    This was SO hard to read.GR review to come, or read it early HERE....

  • chantel nouseforaname

    Gorgeous. The way that Shruti Swamy uses language is something to marvel at. The way that she’s able, in this stellar debut novel, to tell a story that is full of passion, turmoil, heartbreak, and n...

  • Nancy

    Vidya grew up with expectations, beginning with the command to care for her younger brother like a mother. When her mother left them, Vidya did become the mother of the house, taking care of her fathe...

  • Amy Imogene Reads

    Happy Publication Week!3.5 starsLyrical and lulling, this novel was an entrancing story of one woman's love of dance in 1960-1970s Bombay. Plot/Pacing: ★★★★Narrative style: ★★ (did not wor...

  • Tessa

    Hmm. This just didn't work for me. The way the story jumped from one timeline to the next only confused me and broke any connection I had with the characters. (view spoiler)[Particularly the jump from...

  • Shirleynature

    My gratitude to Shruti Swamy, audiobook narrator Sneha Mathan, Workman audio, and NetGalley for advance review access!The Archer is a book I will recommend for vivid prose in a coming of age story wit...