Year of the Weeds

‘Sometimes, Korok, it is best if the sorkar forgets you. ’Korok lives in a small Gond village in western Odisha. His life is in the garden which he tends every day. Anchita lives in the house which has the garden and is an artist. One day, the government tells the Gonds they have to leave the village because a company is going to mine the sacred hill next to it for aluminium ore. The Gonds oppose it, but the mighty government, led by police officer Sorkari Patnaik is determined to win. So is the Company. But how long will the Gond resistance last, when everybody, from politicians to activists and even Maoists turn up at the little village? What can a lone gardener and a girl with a computer do against the most powerful people in the land?’ It would be unfair to categorise this novel as a YA book because it deserves to be read by anyone who can read.’

Siddhartha Sarma is a journalist and historian. A former investigative reporter who covered insurgency, crime, law and foreign affairs, his debut novel, The Grasshopper’s Run, received the annual children’s literature award from the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, in 2011.


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