Western Lane: Shortlisted For The Booker Prize 2023 bookcover

Western Lane: Shortlisted For The Booker Prize 2023

Chetna Maroo

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2023
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2024
Longlisted for the William Hill Award 2023

Selected by Dua Lipa as one of Service95’s ‘Books of the Year’

‘A beautiful and evocative novel about grief, about growing up, about losing and winning. The people and places in this book will stay with me for a long time.’ – Sally Rooney, author of Normal People

A deeply moving novel about grief, sisterhood and a teenage girl’s struggle to transcend herself.

Eleven-year-old Gopi has been playing squash since she was old enough to hold a racket. When her mother dies, her father enlists her in a quietly brutal training regimen, and the game becomes her world. Slowly, she grows apart from her sisters. Her life is reduced to the sport, guided by its rhythms: the serve, the volley, the drive, the shot and its echo.

But on the court, she is not alone. She is with her pa. She is with Ged, a thirteen-year-old boy with his own formidable talent. She is with the players who have come before her. She is in awe.

An unforgettable coming-of-age story, Chetna Maroo’s Western Lane is an exploration of the closeness of sisterhood, the immigrant experience, and the collective overcoming of grief.

A ‘Book of the Year’ in The Economist, The Independent, The Week, The New York Times and The Guardian

‘With this gorgeous debut, Maroo blows most of the competition off the court.’ – The Times

‘Stunning . . . Spare, tender, brilliantly achieved . . . A novel that unfolds in silences . . . and dares to leave much unsaid.’ – The Guardian

  • Latest reviews

    A beautifully written, understated novel about grief, families, growing up and squash. There's tension and silence, things implied and understood, a serenity and an urgency. Wonderful storytelling.

    The Reading Agency

    Join our mailing list

    Get our newsletters to stay up to date with programme news, resources, news and more.

    Back to Top