DANCING TO THE FLUTE – A Debut novel by Manisha Jolie Amin

DANCING TO THE FLUTE  is a debut novel from a second generation Aussie Indian, Manisha Jolie Amin. The book Dancing to the Flute is about Kalu, a cheeky street kid, who has, against all the odds, carved out a life for himself in rural India. He plays the leaf sitting high in the branches of a Banyan tree and his pure simple notes that dance through the air attract a travelling healer, whose interest in Kalu changes his life forever.

Manisha Jolie Amin was born in Kenya and moved to Australia with her family when she was five. Sydney is her home, although she travels frequently to both India and England to visit family. Manisha lives with her husband, son and cat. When not writing, she works for a children’s welfare charity. In 2011 Manisha received a PhD in Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney. Dancing to the Flute is her first novel.

A love letter to India and an entrancing debut novel of life, music and dreams.

As I turned the pages of Dancing to the Flute in manuscript, I found myself relaxing into this incredibly charming, poignant narrative about everyday people bound together by storytelling that is as natural as breathing. – Annette Barlow, Publisher, Allen & Unwin

Sydney based author Manisha Jolie Amin was born in Kenya to Indian parents who later immigrated to Australia. Despite never having lived in India Manisha fell in love with Indian stories from a very young age, influenced by her mother – who would tell Manisha and her sister mythical tales at bedtime whilst their father played the Indian flute – and her aunt, who is an author in both Gujarati and English languages.

Just as she fell in love with the country of her heritage through storytelling, so Manisha hopes to influence readers in the same way. The result: this energetic and colourful novel of India and its people steeped in the transformative power of music and set, in structure, to the melody of the Indian classical music known as the Raag.

The protagonist is Kalu, a cheeky street kid who has, against all the odds, carved out a life for himself in rural India. In the quiet village of Hastinapore, Kalu has also found friends: Bal, the solitary buffalo boy, and Malti, a gentle servant girl, who, with her mistress, Ganga Ba, the village’s benevolent matriarch, has watched out for Kalu from the first day.

Perched high in the branches of a Banyan tree, Kalu chooses a leaf, rolls it tightly and, doing what he’s done as long as he can remember, blows through it. His pure simple notes dance through the air attracting a travelling healer whose interest will change Kalu’s life forever, setting him on a path he would never have dreamt possible, testing his self-belief and friendships.

An unforgettable story of three young friends making their way in the world.

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