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Big-canvas, provocative new novel from Commonwealth and Dylan Thomas Prize longlisted young author of ISHQ AND MUSHQ

Two lives, two loves, two faiths

Lina Mayur has always been the apple of her father’s strict eye. When she meets Anil, a wealthy, cultured and decidedly liberal student of architecture from Kenya’s Asian community, the intensity of her feelings for someone so different takes her by surprise. She is political and he is not; she is of modest background and he is not; she is a Muslim and he is not …

While Lina’s parents still dream of a suitable boy for their eldest daughter, she engages in an intricate game of deceit to hide her blossoming relationship. When Lina’s mother comes upon a hidden suitcase of their love letters, a moral chasm as big as the African continent Lina is determined to save begins to carve open her heart.


A rich saga of tangled relationships and strained loyalties... subtly played out; passionate and intelligent in scope.

Financial Times

The book is beautiful and rich in prose, bold and deeply moving. The story is brilliantly narrated. It has characters that you will remember for days to come. A highly recommended book which you must pick up today, if you haven't already! This book has to be at the top of your to read list!


What makes Priya Basil's second novel so interesting is the complexity of the scenario it presents. One can imagine this kind of story being treated rather simplistically (as, for example, a tale of the heroic lovers striving to overcome all the obstacles life places in their way), but Basil doesn't do that - all her characters face difficult questions, and there are no easy answers. ...Adding a further layer to the novel is the way that events in its wider world interact with and reflect the personal stories of the protagonists...In all this, I haven't mentioned that Basil's novel is a good read purely in terms of its plot, as she manages several times to wrong-foot the reader over what will happen (or has happened). Yet there's so much more here besides, and it all makes The Obscure Logic of the Heart very satisfying to read.


A brilliant second book and one that makes a stand to address the complex battle and struggle for identity and independence faced by the modern Asian woman


A searing love story ... burns and scorches with wry conviction about young love that refuses to say die

India Today

Priya has done a wonderful job of characterisation. Her description of the turmoil faced by people in love makes the book an interesting and satisfying read

New Woman

Montagues and Capulets are redrawn for the 21st century, and it's this utterly convincing conflict of family values that makes for such a compelling narrative.


What really sets this book apart from others is the beautiful prose used by the author. The descriptions that she uses are breathtaking and you really feel as though you are there with the characters, seeing everything that they are able to see... the ending was so powerful that it will remain with you long after you have finished.


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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 1, 2011

    Black Swan

    512 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    July 1, 2011

    Transworld Digital

    512 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo

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