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The Parcel
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
34 posts | 7 read | 20 to read
The first novel in six years from a beloved and bestselling Canadian author whose previous work has been shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and Canada Reads, and has sold to publishers around the world. This powerful new work, about a transgender sex worker in the red-light district of Bombay who is given an unexpected task, is a gripping literary page-turner--difficult and moving, surprising and tender. Anosh Irani's best novel yet, and his first with Knopf Canada. The Parcel's astonishing heart, soul and unforgettable voice is Madhu--born a boy, but a eunuch by choice--who has spent most of her life in a close-knit clan of transgender sex workers in Kamathipura, the notorious red-light district of Bombay. Madhu identifies herself as a "hijra"--a person belonging to the third sex, neither here nor there, man nor woman. Now, at 40, she has moved away from prostitution, her trade since her teens, and is forced to beg to support the charismatic head of the hijra clan, Gurumai. One day Madhu receives a call from Padma Madam, the most feared brothel owner in the district: a "parcel" has arrived--a young girl from the provinces, betrayed and trafficked by her aunt--and Madhu must prepare it for its fate. Despite Madhu's reluctance, she is forced to take the job by Gurumai. As Madhu's emotions spiral out of control, her past comes back to haunt her, threatening to unravel a lifetime's work and identity. This is a dark, devastating but ultimately redemptive novel that promises to be one of the most talked-about publications of the year.
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TheKidUpstairs
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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1. The Big Sick (highly recommend!)
2. Food + some sort of activity. That's vague, I know. On our first date, my husband and I went for dinner and then spent a long time browsing my favourite music store. It was great. Concerts and sports events are also 👍👍
3. 16 and 21
4. DNF-ed because I couldn't handle the subject matter at the time. The writing was very good, so I'll be checking out more by the author!
5. 💖

#FriYAYintro @jesshowbooks

Beckys_Books The Big Sick is a great movie! 9mo
Tanisha_A What @Beckys_Books said! 👏 9mo
TheKidUpstairs @Beckys_Books @Tanisha_A @Pamwurtzler yes! It was a totally random pick one night for my husband and I, and we both loved it. I only realized after that Emily was Emily Gordon, who used to write for xojane.com when it was new (and good), and I used to read her stuff all the time! 9mo
75 likes4 comments
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shawnmooney
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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LeahBergen 💕💕 10mo
Cinfhen Loved your review on the booktube channel 😍but this book sounds incredibly heartbreaking and subject matter too rough. I thoroughly enjoyed watching you eat that Indian dessert 😊😂😂 you‘re magical 😘😘 10mo
shawnmooney @Cinfhen Lawdy I miss you, girlfriend! 😍 10mo
Cinfhen Same, Mr. Mooney 💗but getting to watch you navigate through Japan is priceless xx thinking about you & Kenji 🥂so excited for the big day 10mo
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shawnmooney
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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kaysworld1
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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@JennAndrew Your parcel is on its way by second class post I sent it on the 18th so you should have it soon.
So sorry about the late sending I hope you and your girls like everything in it x
#litsyswap #keychainswap @JennAndrew @JenlovesJT47 📚😃💝

JennAndrew Hi, that‘s no bother at all! I just realised I forgot to put the Litsyswap tag on mine! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Have you received it ok? 12mo
JennAndrew @kaysworld1 it‘s here! Have you got yours? When do we open them? 12mo
kaysworld1 @JennAndrew Yes I have mine you can open it now if you want 💝 12mo
kaysworld1 @JennAndrew hey lady you never told me if you and the girls liked the box x 11mo
13 likes4 comments
review
Dogearedcopy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Pickpick

Underneath the book jacket of ‘The Parcel‘ is a beautifully embossed/cut cover; and in between the covers is an intense, violent, graphic and noble story of a Hijra (third-class citizen/trans) in the harsh and lurid world of the red-light district in modern day Bombay. Irani hammers a story out of survival, identity, and the search for love and redemption.

Chelleo That‘s gorgeous! 13mo
LibrarianJen At first I legit thought this was a LGPOG shopping reminder. Which I swear I‘ll totally do on time. I swear! 😂 13mo
44 likes2 comments
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Dogearedcopy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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I‘m still listening to ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle‘ (by Haruki Murakami) but I decided to start this print book today. It‘s been sitting in my stax for a year now!

I just read the prologue and it already looks to be rather intense: A hijra poised in the moonlight, knife in hand...

Lindy Intense is a good thing, isn‘t it? 1y
Dogearedcopy @Lindy For me, absolutely yes! 1y
44 likes3 comments
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Magpiegem
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Eek @Christine11 your parcel has arrived!! So excited for valentines now!! ❤️❤️❤️ #cupidgoespostal

Christine11 I‘m so glad it got there safely ! And I really hope you love everything! 😊💖💛 1y
Magpiegem @Christine11 I‘m sure I will. 💗💗💗 1y
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jenniferw88
The Parcel | Anosh Irani

Just a quick update on parcels!

I hope to send my #muglove match sometime this week, however it's quite a busy week for me but: TO MY MATCH, DO NOT WORRY IT WILL ARRIVE IN TIME FOR FEB 1ST!

@miralunasbooknook @kezzlou85 @jhod I haven't forgotten about the #clearmyshelvesgiveaway but again, I've got busy weeks ahead but they will be sent sometime soon!

Re #feedareader I'm planning on sending the first March/April time.

jenniferw88 @Annl @Emiller When I get chance I will write a letter to you both! 1y
Annl No worries. I also plan to get a letter mailed out to you! 1y
76 likes2 comments
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batsy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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#favoritebookcoverof2017 Wasn't sure how to interpret this prompt because I'm a backlist reader who rarely reads novels in the year they come out. And all the books I've enjoyed this year have fairly average covers 😁 So I'm picking a book published this year that's on my TBR. I'm overthinking this because I feel like I've misplaced my mind over the last week and have no idea what's going on with anything 😓 #allthebooksof2017

sisilia 🙌🏻 I‘m a backlist reader, too! 1y
batsy @sisilia *high-five* 😀 1y
Kalalalatja I'm mostly a backlist reader, too. I'm really bad at keeping up with new releases 😄 1y
See All 10 Comments
Leniverse I would interpret that as favourite cover of book read, or even just purchased, in 2017. Books actually published in 2017? I don't think I've read more that one! 😂 #BacklistreadersUnite ✊️ 1y
erzascarletbookgasm High five! 🙂 1y
LeahBergen Backlist reader here, too! 👋🏻 1y
ValerieAndBooks Backlist reader here too! But you probably know that already 😅! 1y
batsy @LeahBergen @ValerieAndBooks Yay! We're backlist readers, we're united, and we're always trying to catch up 😂❤️ 1y
67 likes10 comments
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LonesomeReader
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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This is definitely one of the most amazing & heartbreaking novels I've read all year! The story of Madhu, a transgender or hijra individual living in Bombay's notorious red light district.

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Bibliogeekery
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Pickpick

This book was a really beautifully written tough read about Madhu - a Hijra and former sex worker living in Bombay's red light district. The book finds Madhu preparing a ten year girl to become a sex slave (trigger warnings on top of trigger warnings), questioning some of the ways her community operates, reflecting on her own journey of gender transition and seeking a kind of salvation. A difficult, interesting and engaging book! #transbooks

48 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Bibliogeekery
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Reading this intense book in bed in the treehouse.

RubyRed Great view ❤ 2y
LauraBrook #goals Its gorgeous! 😍 2y
batsy Oh wow 😍 2y
61 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Bibliogeekery
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Starting this book about a Hijra woman in India. #transbooks

54 likes5 stack adds
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Lauredhel
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Mama's favourite mail...

EvieBee Oh yes! 2y
89 likes1 comment
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kendrastephaniekaryn
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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So excited to see that #Kobo is featuring deals from diverse authors for the month of June. #diversebooks #ebookdeals

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TheKidUpstairs
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Bailedbailed

This "bail" is NOT a negative review. This is me recognizing that this is not for me at this moment in time. This book is beautifully written. Madhu, the central character, is compassionately realized, compelling, likeable (even when doing some unlikable things), and intriguing. But it is breaking my heart too much to continue right now. Trigger warning: this book contains an honest portrayal of the reality of child sex trafficking.

TheKidUpstairs I will return to this book when my heart can take it. 2y
31 likes1 comment
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TheKidUpstairs
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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A good book. Pregame on TV. It's a good day.
#currentlyreading #playball

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TheKidUpstairs
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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#currentlyreading
Definitely picked this one up because of the cover/spine. So beautiful. Just started, but already falling in love with the voice.
#bookandabeer (Litsy cut off the beer, but it's beautiful too)

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Dogearedcopy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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I saw this on @Litsy , courtesy of @Lindy , and knew it was going on my next international book order! How fitting that today's parcel, was 'The Parcel'! It's a novel about a eunuch in Bombay, caught up in the sex trade, and tasked with a job that gives her pause. The vibe that I get is that this is an intense & immersive Lit-Fic novel. We shall see!

Lindy I really hope that you like it. 😊 3y
34 likes1 comment
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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Pickpick

Madhu is a third gender, neither man nor woman, living with other hijras. Once a high-earning prostitute, now a beggar, she is a nuanced, absolutely fascinating character. Set in a seedy Mumbai red light district under pressure from real estate development, where misery is ordinary and hope is dangerous. Poverty. Sex work. Human trafficking. Humour leavens the bleak reality. Compassionate and compelling. #queerbooks

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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I like the bougainvillea. It is my favourite because it is wild and it grows on its own and doesn't need pity from anyone. It is so full, so red and pink and purple, it could be a movie star.

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani

I like the bougainvillea. It is my favourite because it is wild and it grows on its own and doesn't need pity from anyone. It is so full, so red and pink and purple, it could be a movie star.

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Madhu scoffed when the parcel told her about the "big station." It reminded her of the same stupid awe with which Madhu's father called it a "World Heritage Site." Her father had been so impressed with the British that he was still buckling under the weight of the architecture they had left behind.

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Her next stop was a toddy shop. She paid the man, removed the marigold that adorned the mouth of the bottle, and gulped the white ferment down. Breakfast done, [...]

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani

Madhu took the stairs and was greeted by sour-faced Sona. Gurumai always teased Sona that she must have been a wrinkle in her past life, specifically a wrinkle on someone's arse, which is why she always made that stinky face.

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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The Almighty, caught in the throes of some divine nasha, occasionally did the job only half right by giving a boy child a penis the size of a seed, or, in a moment of misplaced generosity, bestowing both a penis and vagina. Who knows what he smoked up there; if that formula could somehow be obtained, Kamathipura's opium dens would rise from the ashes again.

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani

The parcel was crouched into a ball in the cage, more in a collapsed state of exhaustion than sleep. Madhu felt disoriented as she studied the parcel. She would have to tread carefully with this one. Sometimes the parcels lost their minds sooner than expected. Sometimes they never came back. Some clients were okay with sleeping with a drugged doll; others were not.

RealLifeReading Intriguing quote! 3y
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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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I'm about 1/3 into this heartbreaking novel about a 10-year-old girl sold into sex slavery, and the hijra who is responsible for preparing her for the horrors that lie ahead. 💔💔💔

charl08 I've heard great things about this one. Look forward to your take. 3y
Lindy @charl08 My heart needs a break but the story keeps calling me onward. Quiet humour helps make going forward bearable. 3y
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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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When Madhu had been in school, when she'd worn a boy's uniform, she had learned about a triangle somewhere far away, and how people got sucked through it into another world. The red-light district was exactly like that.

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Only the goddess Bahuchara Mata, striding a rooster through the heavens, heard their cries. A sword in one hand and a trident in the other, she was the Divine Mother to the nation's hijras, and they went in droves to her temple in Gujarat to seek her blessing, alongside men who wanted a cure for impotence, and women who longed for a male child.

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani

The only thing she was capable of lifting was her middle finger. She showed it to passengers in cabs every single day.
Only in her mind.
She had to respect the passengers. They were allowed to abuse her, but she could not abuse back. That was a hijra rule.

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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My parents named their boy Madhu. A name so gloriously unisex, I slipped in and out of its skin until I was fourteen. But then, in one fine stroke, that thing between my legs was relieved of its duties.

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Lindy
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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I'm home from my travels and picked up these holds today. The nice folks at the library extended the pick-up date after I sent them a message letting them know I was away until just after the expiry date. 😊 I ❤️ my library.

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Penny_LiteraryHoarders
The Parcel | Anosh Irani
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Here's something I just found funny today. My "For Later" shelf at the library shows that I have 1234 books marked to read. ? (I've completed a much higher number of books from the library but I'm not very consistent in keeping that updated.)

bedandabook You make me feel better - you're as bad as me! 🙄 3y
Penny_LiteraryHoarders @bedandabook those will all be read one day. 😁😂 3y
rabbitprincess I had to stop marking books as For Later because the shelves got glitchy after about 200, and also stuff on the list would get deaccessioned before I got around to borrowing it 😳 3y
Penny_LiteraryHoarders @rabbitprincess that is a big fear of mine!! 3y
45 likes4 comments