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  • Location: India, Andaman Islands, Tibet

Latitudes of Longing

Latitudes of Longing

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Faultlines, borders and family secrets in the Andaman Islands

  • ISBN: 978-1529405132
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

In the feverish tropics of the Andaman Islands, a young botanist tends to a fragile rose he has imported to welcome his bride. Hoping their marriage will bloom in this strange life, hundreds of miles from the east coast of India, he is entranced by Chanda Devi’s fierce nature and unusual gifts; speaking to trees and the ghosts of former colonialists. These islands, she tells her adoring husband, rest on a faultline, cracked so deep into the earth that spirits cross the boundary freely. But it is not this fracture that takes a tragic bite out of their happiness.

With the family riven by heartbreak, their maid takes the chance to resolve her own past mistakes.

Travel Guide

Travel around the Latitudes of Longing and The Andaman islands

The journey the maid goes on is quite the journey – from Myanmar, over the Indian Ocean, into Nepal, and the dancing bars of Kathmandu. There’s also a look at the Karakorum mountains, where a scientist looks deep into the abyss between India and Pakistan.


Officially known as Prayagraj, it’s also known as Illahabad and Prayag, so there are a few names for this place! It is the administrative headquarters of Allahabad district—the most populous in the state and 13th most populous district in India as a whole. This is the place where Girija’s house is in the novel.

Andaman Islands – a botanist’s delight

“We were strolling in the jungle that surrounds the Lilliputian volcanoes in the Middle Andamans. I found your mother stroking the trunk of a palm tree. It was a Corypha Macropoda in its final stages of life. Once it flowers, it dies. She asked me why it happened. It was how trees had evolved, I explained to her. Some had gone from producing hundreds of seeds with a diminished chance of survival to flowering only once but ensuring the seeds made it by giving them their best … Now I realize why she asked me that question. Your mother wanted me to know the answer. As a human being, I cannot look beyond life and death. But as a botanist, I see how limiting individual lifecycles can be to our understanding. Nature is a continuum. That is how it thrives.”


Booktrailer Review

This is a novel that is hard to describe. It’s more of an experience than anything else. It’s definitely a booktrail treat – four landscapes –  Islands, Faultline, Valley and Snow desert .


Read the TheBookTrail’s full bookreview of Latitudes of Longing here

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Latitudes of Longing

Destination/location: India, Andaman Islands, Tibet  Author/guide:  Shubhangi Swarup  Departure Time: 2000s

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