This Country Is No Longer Yours: A Novel (Hardcover)

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In Avik Jain Chatlani's explosive debut novel, This Country Is No Longer Yours, a chorus of disparate voices comes together to explore how idealists and opportunists betray ordinary people in war-torn Peru.

One of our dead writers liked to say, "Peru is a beggar sleeping on a bench made of gold." It's a cute phrase, but it's not really true. There's hardly any gold left, and none of us get much sleep.

Based on real events in 1970s–2000s Peru, This Country Is No Longer Yours tells the story of people living through the terrorist campaign of the Maoist Shining Path, while struggling to survive amid economic crisis and state collapse.

A student of the revolution's leader is dispatched to Cambodia to learn from the Khmer Rouge, sending him spiralling into a world of unfathomable political violence that both inspires him and will be his undoing. Then, as the terror spreads across Peru, a ruthless security agent of the newly-elected neoconservative government works to squash the growing insurgency now threatening the halls of power, while applying his surveillance training to romantic pursuits—with chilling results.

Just when it looks like the Shining Path has been defeated, a nationalist counter-revolution begins brewing in its wake, and a journalist committed to exposing their ambitions is too preoccupied to help a reader desperately pleading for her help outing a sexual predator who is seeking the presidency. And, in the country that remains, two former guerrillas meet again, one now a teacher stuck in the past, the other living on the margins and still fighting for her future.

Depicting a place and time ravaged by terror but alive with new ambitions and enduring love, Jain Chatlani explores the intersection of political breakdown and human endurance, as well as the unbearable choices demanded of those living in a society at war with itself. With incisive and haunting prose, combined with deeply personal insight, Jain Chatlani offers a stinging indictment of the ideologies that brutalize the very people they claim to represent, and relays an urgent warning about the dangers of zealotry, political messianism and acts of violence justified in the name of a cause.

About the Author

AVIK JAIN CHATLANI, the grandson of the first Indian emigrants to Peru, was born in Canada and raised in Chile. He holds degrees in History and Latin American studies from McGill and Boston University, and currently works as a translator and editor with El País. He has taught in schools and prisons in Latin America and the United States and currently divides his time between Ottawa and Washington DC. This Country Is No Longer Yours is his debut novel.

Praise For…

Praise for This Country Is No Longer Yours: 

"A singular new voice chronicles the collective hope and despair of a nation caught in the bloody fervor of competing political ideologies. Deeply nightmarish at times, this riveting novel is like a dream you do not want to wake up from. Jain Chatlani writes with the calm cognizance of a historian and the unerring precision of a gem cutter. The result is brilliantly rich yet unencumbered prose, shining light on the duality that exists in each one of us. The man who sees a little girl get home safe has seen others to the grave. A significant debut." —Jamaluddin Aram, author of Nothing Good Happens in Wazirabad on Wednesday

"A spell-binding and electrifying debut. Jain Chatlani writes about the complexities of Peru's political history with a clear intelligence and an unrelenting eye. This Country Is No Longer Yours is a visionary work." —Akil Kumarasamy, author of Meet Us by the Roaring Sea

Product Details
ISBN: 9780385688703
ISBN-10: 0385688709
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English