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Partition Voices


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Poignant and powerful, these collected testimonies break the silence that has reigned for decades around one of the most catastrophic events of the twentieth century and reveal its enduring legacy in contemporary Britain

About the Author

Kavita Puri works in BBC Current Affairs and is an awardwinning journalist, executive producer and broadcaster. She wrote and presented the landmark three-part series Partition Voices for BBC Radio 4, which won the Royal Historical Society's Radio and Podcast Award and its overall Public History Prize. Her critically acclaimed Radio 4 series Three Pounds in My Pocket charts the social history of British South Asians from the post-war years. She is currently making a fourth series. While editor of Our World, its foreign documentaries were recognised with awards including the Royal Television Society and the Foreign Press Association. She worked for many years at Newsnight and studied Law at Cambridge University.


Probably the closest thing to a partition memorial ... Heartfelt and beautifully judged -- John Keay * Literary Review *
Kavita Puri's book is the most humane account of partition I've read ... Partition Voices is important because Puri does not flinch as she dissects the tumultuous event, never shying away from the trauma ... We need a candid conversation about our past and this is an essential starting point -- Nikesh Shukla * Observer *
With a masterful mix of history, biography and contemporary reportage, Puri crafts a fascinating account of the living memory of South Asia in modern Britain. This book brings together a rich and disparate chronicle of lives ripped apart and remade by the trauma of partition, and deftly traces how the diaspora of post-colonial India and Pakistan helped to reshape the UK. Perceptive, enriching, shocking and joyful, Puri's is a powerful and courageous book for multicultural Britain -- Tristram Hunt
An important book ... Changed the way I see the world -- Jeremy Vine
An intimate, moving and important book by a daughter of partition. Kavita Puri reveals untold stories of those who lived through one of the most violent political earthquakes of the twentieth century. These are stories we need to hear -- Kirsty Wark
The most extraordinary book. The prologue already had me in tears. This is history - often being told out loud for the very first time ... The book of 2019 that opened my eyes more than anything else. Seminal work, beautifully told -- Emily Maitlis
A powerful and timely work. Kavita Puri coaxes often unspeakable and unspoken memories from a time of unimaginable trauma. A must-read for those interested in the fault lines in today's geopolitics -- Anita Anand
Powerful, compelling and heartbreaking - these are stories of division and conflict rescued from the past that offer valuable lessons for the present -- Sarfraz Manzoor
Partition Voices takes its place alongside other valuable books on partition such as Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan and Urvashi Butalia's The Other Side of Silence -- Amit Roy * Eastern Eye *
An evocative book that leaves you breathless with its human predicament and gives voice to stories long held prisoner to silence ... Nobody has ever brought out the stories of South Asians now settled in the United Kingdom ... Kudos to Kavita Puri for documenting Partition's lasting legacy in Britain, an irony in itself. It is a unique book, one that lives with you long after the stories end -- Ziya Us Salam * Frontline Magazine *
Puri's excellent book is a welcome antidote to British amnesia over its colonial legacy. Partition is not just an Indian story, it is a British one too * All About History *
Opens a fascinating and necessary conversation about contemporary Britain and its people - where they have come from, what they have done, and who they may now want to be -- Anjali Joseph * Times Literary Supplement *
An important document of those turbulent times - raw and unbiased -- Bishwanath Ghosh * The Hindu *

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