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Girls Burn Brighter: A Novel Audiobook, by Shobha Rao Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Shobha Rao Narrator: Soneela Nankani Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2018 ISBN: 9781427295705
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"A searing portrait of what feminism looks like in much of the world, Shobha Rao's first novel, Girls Burn Brighter...follows an incandescent friendship." — Vogue

Girls Burn Brighter is a searing, electrifying debut audiobook set in India and America. Irrepressible author Shobha Rao examines the extraordinary bond between two girls, driven apart by circumstances, but relentless in their search for one another.

Poornima and Savitha have three strikes against them. They are poor. They are driven. And they are girls.

When Poornima was just a toddler, she was about to fall into a river. Her mother, beside herself, screamed at her father to grab her. But he hesitated: “I was standing there, and I was thinking…She’s just a girl. Let her go…That’s the thing with girls, isn’t it…You think, Push. That’s all it would take. Just one little push.”

After her mother’s death, Poornima has very little kindness in her life. She is left to take care of her siblings until her father can find her a suitable match. So when Savitha enters their household, Poornima is intrigued by the joyful, independent-minded girl. Suddenly their Indian village doesn't feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond the arranged marriage her father is desperate to secure for her. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend. Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India's underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle.

Alternating between the girls’ perspectives as they face ruthless obstacles, Girls Burn Brighter introduces listeners to two heroines who never allow the hope that burns within them to be extinguished.

More praise for Girls Burn Brighter:

"The resplendent prose captures the nuances and intensity of two best friends on the brink of an uncertain and precarious adulthood...An incisive study of a friendship's unbreakable bond." - Kirkus

"In this harsh but vibrant debut, two best friends navigate the landscape of India at the dawn of the new millennium. Rao's feminist commentary is particularly potent, situating a powerful bond in restrictive, patriarchal structures." — Entertainment Weekly

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cavi

Quotes & Awards

  • This is an expertly told story of survival, courage, and grit that fans of world literature will enjoy. AudioFile
  • “A searing portrait of what feminism looks like in much of the world, Shobha Rao’s first novel, Girls Burn Brighter…follows an incandescent friendship.”

    Vogue

  • “A treat for Ferrante fans, exploring the bonds of friendship and how female ambition beats against the strictures of poverty and patriarchal societies.”

    Huffington Post

  • “The resplendent prose captures the nuances and intensity of two best friends on the brink of an uncertain and precarious adulthood…An incisive study of a friendship’s unbreakable bond.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A BookPage Top Pick for March
  • An Entertainment Weekly Pick of the Month
  • A Harper’s Bazaar Pick of the Month
  • A Paste Magazine Pick for March

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About the Author

Shobha Rao moved to the US from India at the age of seven. She is the winner of the 2014 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, awarded by Nimrod International Journal. She has been a resident at Hedgebrook and is the recipient of the Elizabeth George Foundation fellowship. Her story “Kavitha and Mustafa” was chosen by T. C. Boyle for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories 2015. She lives in San Francisco. An Unrestored Woman is her debut.

About the Narrator

Soneela Nankani, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a classically trained actress, voice-over artist, and singer who has had roles in film and on television. She has worked with the award-winning Sojourn Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.