Tuesday, March 3, 2020



The Internet has connected – and continues to connect – billions of people around the world, sometimes in surprising ways. In his sprawling new novel, we of the forsaken world, author Kiran Bhat has turned the fact of that once-unimaginable connectivity into a metaphor for life itself.

In we of the forsaken world, Bhat follows the fortunes of 16 people who live in four distinct places on the planet. The gripping stories include those of a man’s journey to the birthplace of his mother, a tourist town destroyed by an industrial spill; a chief’s second son born in a nameless remote tribe, creating a scramble for succession as their jungles are destroyed by loggers; a homeless, one-armed woman living in a sprawling metropolis who sets out to take revenge on the men who trafficked her; and a milkmaid in a small village of shanty shacks connected only by a mud and concrete road who watches the girls she calls friends destroy her reputation.

Like modern communication networks, the stories in, we of the forsaken world connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. Each story is a parable unto itself, but the tales also expand to engulf the lives of everyone who lives on planet Earth, at every second, everywhere.

As Bhat notes, his characters “largely live their own lives, deal with their own problems, and exist independently of the fact that they inhabit the same space. This becomes a parable of globalization, but in a literary text.”

Bhat continues:  “I wanted to imagine a globalism, but one that was bottom-to-top, and using globalism to imagine new terrains, for the sake of fiction, for the sake of humanity’s intellectual growth.”

“These are stories that could be directly ripped from our headlines. I think each of these stories is very much its own vignette, and each of these vignettes gives a lot of insight into human nature, as a whole.”

we of the forsaken world takes pride of place next to such notable literary works as David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, a finalist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2004, and Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, which was listed by the New York Times as one of its Best Books of 2017.

Bhat’s epic also stands comfortably with the works of contemporary visionaries such as Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick.

Book Details:

Title: we of the forsaken world . . .

Author: Kiran Bhat

Genre: Literary Fiction/Metaphysical Fiction

Publisher: Iguana Books (January 22, 2020)

Print length: 216 pages
On tour with: Pump Up Your Book



If you could talk to someone, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I would love to interview Virginia Woolf. I would like to see if she is as depressing as she comes across in her public portrayals. I somehow doubt it. I think all writers are full of as much life as their writing, and yet we always diminish them, try to make them look crazy or torn. If not her, then maybe Oscar Wilde. I think he’d be absolutely wild in a threesome.

If you could live in any time period which would it be?
Well, as a person of Indian origin, if I live anywhere outside of India, I would have to be stuck to the modern times, because life for people of color has only been kind in contemporary times. That being said, I would love to be around during the time of the Vijayanagara Empire, just to see how my maternal state of Karnataka would have looked, at its time of greatest enlightenment.


5 favorite possessions:

    •    books
    •    games
    •    computer
    •    phone  
    •    my own two feet

5 things you need in order to write: 

    •    space
    •    concentration
    •    solitude
    •    inspiration
    •    a good mood

5 things you never want to run out of: 

    •    love
    •    ecstasy
    •    conquest
    •    heritage
    •    self-respect

5 words to describe you:
    •    intense
    •    friendly
    •    melancholic
    •    lonely
    •    never yet fully alone

5 things you always put in your books: 

    •    different countries
    •    rich characters
    •    evocative language
    •    stylistic experimentation
    •    the bare truth   


What’s your all-time favorite city? 

I love Bombay. As a city, it encompasses everything one can know about India, and yet it is accessible to anyone. It’s the only city in India that I think is truly inclusive, and it’s so bustling, so hectic, so loud; it gives me everything I need and then some. 

What author would you most like to review one of your books? 

I would love it if James Wood were to review my book. He is a serious critic, and I always find that I like what he says. I also think he would like my sort of writing, so I hope he would take it seriously.

What book are you currently working on?

I’m working on a vast novel that will take place in 240 regions, last a decade, and somehow be embodied by two archetypal characters. How it all comes together, I’ll let you know come 2021 when the first book of the volume comes out.

What’s your latest recommendation for:
Food: Bibimbap
Music: Astrud Gilberto
Movie: Sholay-e-Azam
Book: The Complete Stories of Henry Lawson
TV: Doctor Who
Netflix/Amazon Prime: Black Summer


Kiran Bhat is a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. An avid world traveler, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has currently traveled to over 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. His list of homes is vast, but he considers Mumbai the only place of the moment worth settling down in. He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Connect with Kiran: 

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