The Wild Wind

by Sheena Kalayil

The Wild Wind

835 in stock (can be backordered)

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SKU: 9781846974915 Category:


‘After two acclaimed novels, Kalayil has scored a hat-trick with her third, an emotionally resonant, semi-autobiographical story about growth and change and coming to terms with loss’ – Herald

‘A finely structured family story … It is written with serious respect for its characters and their story. There are no villains. It is about people in credible situations and people who are almost all trying to behave well. This is difficult to bring off and Kalayil is evidently a novelist of real talent’ – Allan Massie, Yorkshire Post

‘A tenderly written, fascinating and thoughtful semi-autobiographical novel. [It] looks at the presence of memories that bruise, that affect and create our future selves, it is wonderfully readable and gently provocative too’ – Liz Robinson, LoveReading

‘I found this story to be so carefully written. Extremely powerful with haunting secrets resurfacing from the past. Evocative and compassionate. This is an emotional rollercoaster. It captures you and never lets go’ – Helena Antonik, Waterstones Altrincham

From the winner of the 2018 Writers’ Guild Award

Vanish to a different land with Sissy Olikara. Sissy is twelve years old, living with her parents and baby brother on a school campus outside Lusaka. It is 1978, and the political situation in Zambia is becoming volatile. The family enjoy a gentle life until, suddenly, Sissy’s father leaves and returns to India.

His departure brings about a chain of events which force Sissy into the adult world and have profound, long-lasting consequences.

Moving back and forth in time as the adult Sissy reflects on her childhood, The Wild Wind is a haunting, absorbing coming-of-age tale of lost loves and lost innocence – one that takes readers on a journey into a young woman’s past and its repercussions on her future.

Featured on the Guardian’s ‘NOT THE BOOKER LONGLIST, 2019’


Sheena Kalayil was born in Zambia in 1970 where her parents were teachers seconded from Kerala, India. She arrived in the UK aged eighteen and, after graduating, worked all over the world. She has a doctorate in Linguistics, teaches at the University of Manchester and lives near Manchester with her husband and two daughters. She is the author of The Bureau of Second Chances (Polygon, 2017), which won the Writers’ Guild Best First Novel Award and The Inheritance (Polygon, 2018).


ISBN: 9781846974915

Publication date: 06/06/2019

Format: Paperback

Extent: 256

Publisher: Birlinn Ltd

Stock status: Published

Categories: Birlinn/Polygon