Latitudes of Longing - Shubhangi Swarup



A brilliant debut that blends natural with supernatural, human with otherworldly

Latitudes of Longing sweeps through worlds and times that are inhabited by: a scientist who studies trees and a clairvoyant who talks to them; Lord Goodenough who travels around the furthest reaches of the Raj, giving names to nameless places; a geologist working towards ending futile wars over a glacier; octogenarian lovers; a superstitious dictator and a mother struggling to get her revolutionary son released; a yeti who seeks human companionship; a turtle who turns first into a boat and then a woman; and the ghost of an evaporated ocean as restless as the continents. A geological fault line at the heart of this brilliantly-conceptualised novel mirrors the journeys of its characters.

jury comments

About the author

Author Image


Shubhangi Swarup was born in 1982 in Nashik. She is a print journalist, filmmaker, novelist and an educationist. Talking of Latitudes of Longing, which is her first novel, she says: "I wanted to use my first chapter in the application for a fellowship but I was told that it lacked flow. This naturally upset me." What was initially a disjointed and disconnected way of telling a story, staccato almost, eventually became her strength. "The words on the page would freeze up when I tried to impose my will."

She has volunteered for diverse causes since her teens. She has studied conflict management, taught street children and worked against sexual violence. She calls herself "a hopeless backpacker" and loves to travel, which is one of the reasons why the novel goes through so many beautiful and intriguing places. She lives in Mumbai.

Book Trailer

Audio Reading

Narrated by Kriti Pant

"I edited myself out of the book."

A conversation with Shubhangi Swarup