WINNER OF THE MARCO POLO OUTSTANDING GENERAL TRAVEL THEMED BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE 2018 EDWARD STANFORD TRAVEL WRITING AWARDS
The story begins in a public square in New Delhi. On a cold December evening a young European woman of noble descent appears before an Indian street artist known locally as PK and asks him to paint her portrait – it is an encounter that will change their lives irrevocably.
PK was not born in the city. He grew up in a small remote village on the edge of the jungle in East India, and his childhood as an untouchable was one of crushing hardship. He was forced to sit outside the classroom during school, would watch classmates wash themselves if they came into contact with him, and had stones thrown at him when he approached the village temple. According to the priests, PK dirtied everything that was pure and holy. But had PK not been an untouchable, his life would have turned out very differently.
This is the remarkable true story of how love and courage led PK to overcome extreme poverty, caste prejudice and adversity – as well as a 7,000-mile, adventure-filled journey across continents and cultures – to be with the woman he loved.
About the Author
Per J Andersson is a writer and journalist. He is the co-founder of Sweden’s most well-known traveller’s magazine Vagabond, and has been visiting India for the last 30 years. He lives in Stockholm.
Anna Holmwood translates literature from Chinese and Swedish to English. She was awarded one of the first British Centre for Literary Translation mentorship awards in 2010 and is currently working on a major series of Chinese martial arts novels by Jin Yong for MacLehose Press. In 2011 she co-founded the Emerging Translators’ Network to support early career translators, and was elected to the UK Translators Association committee in 2012. She lives in China.
'A feel-good story that’s so feel-good it makes other feel-good stories feel bad.' — New York Times Book Review
'A wonderful love story.' — National Geographic’s Best Books of 2017
'A beautiful, epic tale of love and perseverance.' — Booklist
‘Charming…epic…a journey repeatedly facilitated by the kindness of strangers, but also fraught with danger and pitfalls…[a] 7,000-mile journey across continents, lasting almost five months – all in the name of love.’ — Daily Mail
'Often filled with sumptuous prose.' — Publishers Weekly
‘[This] is one of those genuinely illuminating stories that come along once in a while. At heart an against-all-odds love story, this wonderful book does so much to explain why Indian society is the way it is. The story of PK, growing up an 'untouchable' at a time when such labels should have been abolished, is touching, harrowing and ultimately enlightening. The writing is humorous and tender, the cast of characters joyous, and best of all – it's all true.’ — Vaseem Khan, author of The Baby Ganesh Detective Agency Series
‘A must-read because you won’t find any other love story that is so beautiful, touching, and – above all – true’ — Grazia
'This is a story of human connection that spans continents, class, and race.' — Library Journal