Land of the Well by Sampurna Chattarji

Category: Literary Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers India

It is Goa in the monsoons. A shy and lonely teenager finds himself drawn towards a group of holidaymakers. In their midst is Momo, the woman he would do anything to be close to. As if sensing his willingness, the group spends the day ‘testing’ him before pronouncing him worthy of their friendship and of their disclosures about themselves.

Challenged by his new-found friends to provide an answer to the riddle of their condition, the boy tells them the story of the Land of the Well. Expecting praise and further acceptance, he is horrified when the outcome is an alienation more extreme than he has ever faced before.

The novel examines this age of anxiety, wherein the bodies of the young and successful break down in ways that mirror their innermost traumas. Land of the Well walks the line between reality and delusion, between treachery and trust.