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Publisher's Summary

Longlist 2008 - IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 

Anita Rau Badami's acclaimed novel Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? chronicles the stories of three women, linked in love and tragedy, over a span of 50 years, sweeping from the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 to the explosion of Air India flight 182 off the coast of Ireland in 1985. Alive with Badami's warmth and humanity, and brimming with the daily sights and sounds of both Canada and India, this novel brilliantly conveys the tumultuous effects of the past on new immigrants, and the ways in which memory and myth, the personal and the political, become heartrendingly connected.

©2007 Anita Rau Badami (P)2020 Vintage Canada

What the critics say

"Pulsates with humanity. . . . If you do manage to put this novel down, it’s probably only to compose yourself to keep on reading." (Edmonton Journal)

"Like Canada, Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? may be read on many levels, each of which illuminates a little more of who we are. . . . Rich in echoes and irony and questions, this is one book in the growing catalogue of books we need to read to understand ourselves." (The Globe and Mail)

"As Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? shows, the enduring state of ‘in-between’ that is part of both immigrant life in Canada and Sikh life in post-partition India is equally rich in the complex joy of struggle and the possibility for tension, misunderstanding, and, sometimes, violence." (Calgary Herald)

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What listeners say about Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?

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incredible story, riveting, deep, and provocative

so good, a beautifully crafted novel about a nuanced and complex history, the shape of which can be seen in current life. the author did a beautiful read. the epilogue was so important
thank you!

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Incredible book

I decided to read this book because I live in the neighbourhood (in Vancouver) where much of this novel takes place. Such vibrant characters and descriptions, and a gripping plot (especially the last 3rd that really intensifies). The novel spans a huge time period and traces the development of its characters and their relationships through colonial India, Partition, waves of South Asian immigration to Canada, South Vancouver and the inner-workings of the Indo-Canadian community in the second half of the 20th century, Indian politics (particularly the career of Indira Gandhi), the Khalistan movement, the 1984 storming of the Golden Temple and subsequent anti-Sikh pogroms, and the 1985 Air India Bombing. The stories in this book are heart-wrenching, memorable, and finely crafted.