The Rabbit & the Squirrel: A Modern Fable

Editor | Fiction

The Squirrel’s greatest joy is dancing in the forest with the Rabbit – her beloved friend and equal of heart. While the duo is inseparable, fate has other ideas: the Squirrel is married off to a wealthy boar and the Rabbit enlists in a monastery.

Years later, an unexpected reunion finds them both transformed by personal defeats. And yet, to each other, they are unchanged, and their private world ─ where sorrow registered as rapture and wit concealed loss ─ is just how they had left it.

A timeless story about friendship and loss, The Rabbit & The Squirrel (Penguin, Rs 399) is a modern-day fable that marks the return to fiction of one of India’s much-loved young authors, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi after a decade. The book’s two oddball characters are united by a sympathy for ideas but divided by social class. In their years apart, they come to view each other as the true custodian of the other’s heart. When they are reunited, briefly and tragically, the Rabbit and the Squirrel must answer one question: What have we been to each other?

About the author and the Illustrator

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi’s debut novel, The Last Song of Dusk, won the Betty Trask Award (UK), the Premio Grinzane Cavour (Italy), and was nominated for the IMPAC Prize (Ireland). Translated into sixteen languages, The Last Song of Dusk was an international bestseller. Shanghvi’s second novel, The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay, was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, 2008. A past contributor to the New York Times and TIME, he lives in north Goa, where he serves as honorary director for a not-for-profit arts foundation.

Stina Wirsén: Bestselling writer and acclaimed artist, Wirsén has won the Expressen’s Heffaklump Award for children’s literature; the Elsa Beskow Plaque; Nordiska Tecknare’s Award; Svenska Tecknare’s Kolla! Award. Wirsén lives and works out of Stockholm.

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