A People’s History of Heaven


“Early on, we girls learn that life owes us nothing, that womanhood is a spectrum of nuisances, heartbreaks and tragedies.”

“The women are not there for our pity; they are there to be listened to. How refreshing?” – New York Times 

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Set in a Bangalore slum called Heaven, Mathangi Subramanian’s novel centres on the lives of five girls Banu (an artist), Deepa (who is blind), Joy (who is transgender), Rukshana (who is queer), and Padma (who is a migrant and has a mentally ill mother), who narrate the story collectively through an unnamed member of the group. Despite having diverse backgrounds and differing daily struggles, they are united by a common bond to save their home from destruction.

 Bulldozers are sent to demolish Heaven, which exists amongst the city’s glass-walled high rises and buzzing tech startups. The girls, and their mothers, refuse to be erased from a city that would prefer they didn’t exist. 

A People’s History of Heaven featured in our Section 28 collection that showcased stories from the LGBTQI+ community. 


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