All of Us in Our Own Lives

by Manjushree Thapa

September 1, 2018
5.5 x 8.5, paper, 320 pages
CDN $21.95

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A beautiful story of strangers who shape each other’s lives in fateful ways, All of Us in Our Own Lives delves deeply into the lives of women and men in Nepal and into the world of international aid.

Ava Berriden, a Canadian lawyer, quits her corporate job in Toronto to move to Nepal, from where she was adopted as a baby. There she struggles to adapt to her new career in international aid and forge a connection with the country of her birth.

Ava’s work brings her into contact with Indira Sharma, who has ambitions of becoming the first Nepali woman director of an NGO; Sapana Karki, a bright young teenager living in a small village; and Gyanu, Sapana’s brother, who has returned home from Dubai to settle his sister’s future after their father’s death. Their journeys collide in unexpected ways.

All of Us in Our Own Lives is a stunning, keenly observant novel about human interconnectedness, about privilege, and about the ethics of international aid (the earnestness and idealism and yet its cynical, moneyed nature).

Read an excerpt of All of Us in Our Own Lives in Rungh magazine

Advance Praise for All of Us in Our Own Lives

“This is such a beautiful novel. It begins kaleidoscopic and then, almost without the reader realizing, coheres into an extraordinary train of thought and action, driven by both happenstance and connection . . . [Thapa] writes about Nepal with great intensity and insight and she writes about the utter necessity of these interdependent lives.” Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

“Polyphonic and populous, All of Us In Our Own Lives ingeniously connects multiple North American and Nepali subcultures. Thapa brings an insider’s knowledge, an outsider’s eye and a deep compassion to each member of her diverse, engaging cast. This reader traveled close alongside these characters as they navigated the complicated rewards and disappointments of desire, family, and the global economy.” Padma Viswanathan, author of The Ever After of Ashwin Rao

“I learned so much reading Manjushree Thapa’s earlier, non-fiction work Forget Kathmandu that I can’t imagine not being interested in whatever she writes.” Anakana Schofield, author of Martin John and Malarky

Reviews and Interviews

“Thapa weaves an evocative tale of loss – not only personal loss but also a loss of identity – and of ways in which connections forged with strangers can help one grow roots.” The Telegraph

All of Us, in the most unassuming way, is a cracker of a book. It has a page-turner quality, although none of the tropes of one… Over time, Thapa’s writing has only gotten sharper, wittier and more restrained. Her strong, though subtle feminist undertones are telling of the realities of the modern woman in Nepal.” Open

“Fresh, introspective and incisive, All Of Us in Our Own Lives is yet another testament to why the Manjushree Thapa is one of the very best Nepali writers writing in English.” The Kathmandu Post

“Manjushree Thapa … has done more than any other writer to raise the prominence of English-language writing from Nepal. She is, without doubt, the best-known Nepali writer in the language today.” Caravan

“This novel is testament to Thapa’s ability to tell an important story about socio-political realities without succumbing to polemic, but also to do so with empathy and literary flair.”  La.Lit

“Thapa writes with incredible and equal insight into the chaotic, glossy world of foreign aid in Nepal, and the simple villager’s struggle.” India Today