Thrity Umrigar is the author of seven novels and the memoir First Darling of the Morning. A journalist for almost twenty years, she is the winner of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard and 2006 finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award. An associate professor of English at Case Western Reserve University, Umrigar lives in Cleveland.
Circumstances: Life and Love Amid the Complexities of Class and Misfortune
In his sixth novel, Like this Afternoon Forever, Jaime Manrique tells the romantic and tragedy-laced story of two priests who work in a community of people displaced by war and threatened by circumstances. Thrity Umrigar, in The Secrets Between Us, chronicles the poignant and compelling life of a former servant struggling against the circumstances of class and misfortune. Both novels brilliantly expose the complexities born of life without privilege, and explore the intimacy and connection that can occur amid even extraordinary circumstances.
Franklin Abbott has had the pleasure of working with all five of the program directors for the festival giving advice about LGBTQ writers. He is one of the founders of the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival and a poet, musician, and psychotherapist.
The Secrets Between Us
Bhima, the unforgettable main character of Thrity Umrigar’s beloved national bestseller The Space Between Us, returns in this triumphant sequel—a poignant and compelling novel in which the former servant struggles against the circumstances of class and misfortune to forge a new path for herself and her granddaughter in modern India. Poor and illiterate, Bhima had faithfully worked for the Dubash family, an upper-middle-class Parsi household, for more than twenty years. Yet after courageously speaking the truth about a heinous crime perpetrated against her own family, the devoted servant was cruelly fired. A woman who has endured despair and loss with stoicism, Bhima must now find some other way to support herself and her granddaughter, Maya. Bhima’s fortunes take an unexpected turn when her path intersects with Parvati, a bitter, taciturn older woman. The two acquaintances soon form a tentative business partnership, selling fruits and vegetables at the local market. As they work together, these two women seemingly bound by fate grow closer, each confessing the truth about their lives and the wounds that haunt them.