About the Book
In March 1990, sixteen-year-old Siddhartha Gigoo is forced to flee his home in Safa Kadal, Srinagar, Kashmir. The preceding days have been full of fear and horror for the Gigoos—having seen friends and neighbours killed outside their homes. They could be next if they don’t leave. But they want to stay, even when faced with a looming threat to their lives. Siddhartha thinks his leaving is temporary and that he will be back home soon. Little does he know that his fate is sealed.
What follows is a long, dark time—a camp existence and a struggle for survival.
Thirty-four years on, Siddhartha chronicles the story of his flight from Kashmir and an entire youth spent in exile.
A meditation on the nature of memory, A Long Season of Ashes is a book about a boy’s journey of self-discovery.
About the Author
SIDDHARTHA GIGOO, winner of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Asia) for his short story, ‘The Umbrella Man’, has published two books of poetry—Fall and Other Poems and Reflections, four novels—The Garden of Solitude, Mehr: A Love Story, The Lion of Kashmir, Love in the Time of Quarantine—and a book of short stories—A Fistful of Earth and Other Stories (long listed for the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award). He has co-edited two anthologies, A Long Dream of Home: The Persecution, Exodus and Exile of Kashmiri Pandits and Once We Had Everything: Literature in Exile. In 2021, Siddhartha won the New Asian Short Story Prize for his short story, ‘Elephant’s Tusk’. His short stories have been long-listed for the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize, the Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize and the Seán O’Faoláin Short Story Prize. Siddhartha’s short films, The Last Day and Goodbye, Mayfly, have won several awards at international film festivals. His writings also appear in various literary journals.