|Author:||Tanwi Nandini Islam|
For as long as she can remember, Ella has longed to feel at home. Orphaned as a child after her parents' murder, and afflicted with hallucinations at dusk, she's always felt more at ease in nature than with people. She traveled from Bangladesh to Brooklyn to live with the Saleems: her uncle Anwar, aunt Hashi, and their beautiful daughter, Charu, her complete opposite. One summer, when Ella returns home from college, she discovers Charu's friend Maya: an Islamic cleric's runaway daughter: asleep in her bedroom.
As the girls have a summer of clandestine adventure and sexual awakenings, Anwar:owner of a popular botanical apothecary: has his own secrets, threatening his thirty-year marriage. But when tragedy strikes, the Saleems find themselves blamed. To keep his family from unraveling, Anwar takes them on a fated trip to Bangladesh, to reckon with the past, their extended family, and each other.
Short-listed for the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award
'A Brooklyn-by-way-of-Bangladesha Royal Tenenbaums. A pot-tinged, PTSD Muslim Sesame Street. With sex. Hallucinations, hijabs and handlebars on the always-busy Atlantic Avenue. The New York sense of place in Bright Lines rivals the recent memory of Teju Cole's Open City.' The Denver Post
'Tanwi Nandini Islam makes waves with her debut novel, which traverses from Bangladesh to Brooklyn exploring the secrets of three young women.' TimeaMagazine
'The miracles in Bright Lines are the understated moments of family telepathy . . . An understated queer coming-of-age, a study of how much work it is to be a family, and a snapshot of a disappearing Brooklyn, set against the ghosts of the past, and a search for home.' NPR.org
'A family, blended in unexpectedly compassionate ways, takes you on a tour of Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue, Bangladesh, and all the ways we make our lives more complicated than they ever had to be. For many of Islam's well-crafted characters, home is a place they've never actually been, but somehow dream to return to someday.' Ashley Ford, Elle.com
'Vivid and captivating . . . Spell-binding and a page turner . . Bright Lines takes place in a Brooklyn that shimmers like a mirage:at once vivid and surreal . . . A very promising debut that explores family, love, loss, and the painful process of growing up in a way that is both timeless and modern.' Emma Cueto, Bustle
'Tanwi Nandini Islam has given Zadie Smith's White Teeth an American cousin where the characters of Bangladeshi origin are situated in America (Brooklyn to be exact) and not London. It's a story of immigrants and their children, family secrets, and feeling like a stranger in a place you're told is home. It's a damn fine first bookueasily one of the best debuts of the year.' Jason Diamond, nElectric Literature "