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Fiction Literary

Someone You Love Is Gone

by (author) Gurjinder Basran

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Aug 2017
Literary, Contemporary Women, Family Life
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price

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"A beautiful, haunting story of one family, spanning generations and continents, as they face life's inevitable losses, struggle with grief, and reach for redemption."
—Shilpi Somaya Gowda, New York Times bestselling author of Secret Daughter and The Golden Son

Haunted by visions of her recently departed mother...

Simran is unable to move on. Grappling with the growing estrangement of her sister and daughter as well as the disintegration of her marriage, she wonders how her life has come to this. As the life she has carefully constructed unravels, she is forced to confront one of her most painful childhood memories--her parents sending her younger brother away from home.

Woven throughout are memories of Simran's mother as a young woman in 1960s India. Her world had seemed beautiful and full of hope then. But when an unexpected event occurs, the results will have repercussions for generations to come.

As the ghosts from the past clamour for attention, the only way to put them to rest may be for Simran to dig deeper into her family history and close the circle that was left open when her family was torn apart.

Lyrical and heartbreaking, Someone You Love Is Gone is a mesmerizing tale of enduring love and family ties that defy time and space, weaving together the past and present, crossing continents and spanning generations.

About the author

Gurjinder Basran studied creative writing at Simon Fraser University and The Banff Center for the Arts. Her work was shortlisted for the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and earned her a place in the Vancouver Sun’s annual speculative arts and culture article, “Ones To Watch.” A 2006 graduate of Simon Fraser University’s award-winning Writer’s Studio, Gurjinder has read her work at the Vancouver International Writers Festival and has been both a panelist and facilitator on writing at the 2007 Writer’s Studio alumni symposium. She lives in Delta, British Columbia with her husband and two sons. This is her first novel.

Gurjinder Basran's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A Chatelaine’s Best Fall Reads pick

"A beautiful, haunting story of one family, spanning generations and continents, as they face life's inevitable losses, struggle with grief, and reach for redemption." –Shilpi Somaya Gowda, New York Times bestselling author of Secret Daughter and The Golden Son

"In this brave and beautifully written novel, Gurjinder Basran shines a light into the darkest corners of one family's emotional inheritance. Grief has the power to remake us, and for Simran and her mother, Amrita, it proves truly transformative, blurring the lines between self and other, home and history--even life and death."–Alissa York, author of Fauna and The Naturalist

Someone You Love Is Gone proves Basran knows deeply the ways personal history is etched by time and events. . . . The desire to connect and belong underscores Basran’s fiction. Her characters reel from absence and grief, placing apparent success at risk in search of a sense of home. Rather than metaphysical, Someone You Love Is Gone broaches a life’s worth and the facets of self—parent, child, sibling, spouse—that compose families and individuals alike.” –David Chau, The Georgia Straight

Someone You Love Is Gone . . . [serves] up characters with whom we can empathize, even when we recognize unappealing glimpses of our own neurosis staring back at us. The ability alone to weave this moral complexity into her stories makes Gurjinder Basran a novelist worth reading.” –Jagdeesh Mann, The Globe and Mail
"Someone You Love Is Gone is about loss, grief and the memories and secrets that can haunt a family for generations." –Fashion

"Someone You Love Is Gone is a touching, interesting look at a family's ups-and-downs and generational connections." –Dana Gee, Vancouver Sun
"Although epic in scope, Someone You Love Is Gone is economically and poetically written. It serves up a rich narrative with a cultural and generation-crossing protagonist supported by a cast of equally compelling characters." –Elizabeth Mitchell, Toronto Star

“A realistic and emotional exploration of grief.” –Kirkus Review

“Basran writes vividly about loss and how desperately families want to forget.” –NOW Magazine

Praise for Everything Was Good-bye:
"[T]he writing is vivid, full of crackling dialogue, and the plot is completely absorbing.... Basran's book reminds me of the work of the Pulitzer-prize winning novelist, Bengali American writer Jhumpa Lahiri, who also draws the outsider into the world of Indian immigrants to North America, vividly expressing their difficult adaptation.... She is clearly on the same path as Lahiri, a writer on the first step to greatness."--Toronto Star
"Basran's writing is by turns elegant and poetic."--Quill & Quire

"Thought-provoking and compelling ... Timely and engaging."--Winnipeg Free Press

"A tender novel about identity and the search for belonging that is both humorous and heartbreaking. In Meena, Basran has created a feisty, complicated and irrepresible heroine."--Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between Us

"Exceptional."--The Vancouver Sun

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