Where The Cobbled Path Leads by Avinuo Kire

A glorious novel shedding light on Nagaland and their culture of oral storytelling. It also tells of the cultural and political landscape of Nagaland and its history in a most subtle and palatable way.

Where the Cobbled Path Leads is a folk fantasy novel, rooted in ancestral Naga spiritualism. The supernatural elements are a blend of fantasy fiction and Naga spirit stories.

Eleven-year-old Vime is grieving the death of her mother and trying to understand the meaning of pain and loss. She has a special place she frequents – a cobbled footpath near her house which leads to a forest. On the day of her mother’s death anniversary, not wanting to return home, Vime follows the cobbled footpath all the way to the deep end of the woods and discovers that the trail leads to a magnificent tree. She falls asleep under it only to wake up and find that the footpath has disappeared. . Tei, a forest spirit, helps her relocate the missing footpath.

But this tree is no ordinary tree. It is a portal between the human and spirit world. Vime keeps finding her way back to it and distressed that her father might remarry, decides to leave her earthly life and join her mother in the spiritual world. As she travels to and from, as well as through, these realms, she understands her pain and grief, and what it means to surrender herself to these old spirits, not all of whom are good.

About the author

Avinuo Kire is a writer and teacher from Kohima, Nagaland. She has authored The Power to Forgive: And Other Stories (Zubaan), The Last Light of Glory Days and Other Stories (Speaking Tiger), a collection of Poetry, Where Wildflowers Grow (Barkweaver) and co-authored an anthology of oral narratives titled Naga Heritage Centre, People Stories: Volume One (PenThrill). Avinuo currently teaches English at Kohima College.