Journey Prize winner Shashi Bhat’s "powerful, surprising and terrifying" (Rufi Thorpe) story about a high school student's traumatic experience and how it irrevocably alters her life, for fans of13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, Girlhood,andPen15.
Bright, hilarious, and sensitive fourteen-year-old Nina spends her spare time reading Beowulf and flirting with an internet predator. She has a vicious crush on her English teacher, and her best friend Amy is slowly drifting away. Meanwhile, Nina’s mother tries to match her up with local Indian boys unfamiliar with her Saved by the Bellreferences, and Nina’s worried father has started reciting Hindu prayers outside her bedroom door. Beginning with a disturbing incident at her high school, The Most Precious Substance on Earthtells stories of Nina’s life from the ‘90s to present day, when she returns to the classroom as a high school teacher with a haunting secret and discovers that the past is never far behind her.
Darkly funny, deeply affecting, unsettling, and at times even shocking, Shashi Bhat’s irresistible novel-in-stories examines the relationships between those who take and those who have something taken. The Most Precious Substance on Earthis a sharp-edged and devastating look at how women are conditioned to hide their trauma and suppress their fear, loneliness, and anger, and an unforgettable portrait of how silence can shape a life.
ISBN-13: 9781538707920 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Publication Date: June 27, 2023 Pages: 272