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The Cauliflower: A Novel Audiobook, by Nicola Barker Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Nicola Barker Narrator: Sneha Mathan, Vikas Adam Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9781504728874
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From Man Booker–shortlisted, IMPAC Award–winning author Nicola Barker comes an exuberant, multivoiced new novel mapping the extraordinary life and legacy of a nineteenth-century Hindu saint.

To the world, he is Sri Ramakrishna—godly avatar, esteemed spiritual master, beloved guru. To Rani Rashmoni, she of low caste and large inheritance, he is the Brahmin fated to defy tradition. But to Hriday, his nephew and longtime caretaker, he is just Uncle—maddening, bewildering Uncle, prone to entering trances at the most inconvenient of times, known to sneak out to the forest at midnight to perform dangerous acts of self-effacement, who must be vigilantly safeguarded not only against jealous enemies and devotees with ulterior motives but also against that most treasured yet insidious of sulfur-rich vegetables: the cauliflower.

Rather than puzzling the shards of history and legend together, Barker shatters the mirror again and rearranges the pieces. The result is a biographical novel viewed through a kaleidoscope. Dazzlingly inventive and brilliantly comic, irreverent, and mischievous, The Cauliflower delivers us into the divine playfulness of a twenty-first-century literary master.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Vibrant, funny, garrulous, and lovely…It is a celebration of spirituality and faith…Perfectly balanced between clownish irreverence and hushed respect for the numinous.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Distinctively Barkeresque…Typically atypical, expectedly unexpected, and inexplicably good. She really is a genius.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Barker’s antic, irreverent historical novel examines the life of real-life spiritual leader Sri Ramakrishna…Beneath the jaunty surface, the novel explores important questions about the nature of religious experience.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Both deeply researched and imagination-drenched, and playful in language, tone, time line, and structure.”


  • “Respectful, playful, and often entertaining―though just as often puzzling. Barker’s fans will enjoy the outing, forgiving her quirks.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Refinery29 Pick of the Best Books of 2016 So Far

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About the Author

Nicola Barker is the author of eleven novels, including The Yips (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize), Darkmans (short-listed for the Booker and the Ondaatje Prize and winner of the Hawthornden Prize), Clear (long-listed for the Booker), and Wide Open (winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), and three story collections, including Love Your Enemies (winner of the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award). Her work has been translated into over a dozen languages. She lives in London.

About the Narrators

Sneha Mathan spent a peripatetic childhood in India, punctuated by a short spell in the Seychelles. Now fixedly based in Seattle, she works as a voice actor and audiobook narrator. Her audiobook work has received four Earphones Awards, and she is a two-time finalist for the Audie Award.

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.