What We Know About Her set in Madras, Chingleput and Benares is Krupa Ge’s debut novel. Published by Context in April 2021, it was longlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2021 and shortlisted for the inaugural Women Writer’s Prize .
With an assured yet quiet voice Krupa Ge brings forth a novel that is rich and layered in domestic history. The book is also a mirror of how memory is constructed, that it is not just the milestones but the smaller nuances that make it memorable. With a voice that is whip smart, this book achieves a lot without being noisy – The JCB Prize for Literature 2021 Jury.
Download the first chapter from thejcbprize.org
Read an excerpt on scroll.in
Praise for What We Know About Her
Like the sea that borders its beloved city of Chennai, Krupa Ge’s What We Know About Her is a work of tides. It’s about the push and between love and freedom, friendship and aloneness, parents and children, music and noise. It vividly recreates the vast landscapes and small worlds of Chennai and Benares, worlds apart from each other but bound by a beautiful and particular modern Indian cosmopolitanism. Above all, it gives us a cast of characters so loveable and skilfully created that it hardly seems possible they don’t exist. Here is a beautiful, ambitious debut, a book for everyone who understands that the past lives on in us, as a story and sometimes as a song – Supriya Nair, Writer and Editor
Krupa Ge was born to write and pin readers to the page. Her writing has spirit, presence, kickassery you want to bottle and snort. Few write about cities, people, and fallibilities, as well as she does – Deepak Unnikrishnan, Author of Temporary People
Really enjoyed reading this novel, which was reminiscent, in part, of Jennifer Makumbi’s The First Woman, and also does one of my favourite things: telling a story through letters – Gautam Bhatia, Author of The Wall
Steeped in memory, social commentary, curiosity, and Carnatic music Krupa Ge’s What We Know About Her is a fiction debut to be cherished – Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, National Herald
Her debut novel is also charged by her confident storytelling, along with her ability to illuminate the intersections of caste, class and gender, especially in the lives of people who are loathe to reckon with these uncomfortable truths – Somak Ghoshal, Mint Lounge
When I think of how my life will be chronicled by future generations, I suspect (and hope) that some aspects of our lives will be deemed regressive in the same manner we regard those before us. Yet I also hope that the women in my life are not painted as victims, but in the rich shades Krupa Ge affords to her characters – Gayathri Sankar, Scroll.in
What Krupa Ge has achieved in her debut novel What We Know About Her is a depiction of reality without boundaries. There are only transitions in the form of prose. The novel defies classification; it has no lines. Yet, if you were to ask what the book is about the unequivocal answer would be, “women”. The novel is a tender depiction of Indian women and their agency – Percy Bharucha, Hindustan Times
…unputdownable. I finished the book so fast, like I was devouring a tasty burger, one big bite after another…. Kudos to Ge for creating a bunch of likeable characters. The story moves like a gently flowing river, aided by the cool breeze of Ge’s writing – Rachna Chhabria, Asian Age
Krupa Ge’s debut novel is about making journeys. The journey of unravelling the truth, the journey is in time too, from the past to the present and back, especially through the letters written by the protagonist—Yamuna’s grandmother to her grandfather. It is a journey even in terms of geography, particularly between the two cities which have their own character in the novel—Chennai and Banaras. She depicts the journey of the struggles of the women… belonging to three generations… Consequently, it also becomes a journey of the self – Jennifer Monteiro, The Book Review