Elizabeth Flock

presents

The Heart Is a Shifting Sea:
Love and Marriage in Mumbai

in conversation with LAD TOBIN

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
23
Friday
February 23, 2018
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes journalist and PBS NewsHour reporter ELIZABETH FLOCK for a discussion of her debut book, The Heart Is a Shifting Sea: Love and Marriage in Mumbai. She will be joined in conversation by LAD TOBIN, associate professor in the English Department at Boston College.

About The Heart Is a Shifting Sea

In twenty-first-century India, tradition is colliding with Western culture, a clash that touches the lives of everyday Indians from the wealthiest to the poorest. While ethnicity, class, and religion are influencing the nation’s development, so too are pop culture and technology—an uneasy fusion whose impact is most evident in the institution of marriage.

The Heart Is a Shifting Sea introduces three couples whose relationships illuminate these sweeping cultural shifts in dramatic ways: Veer and Maya, a forward-thinking professional couple whose union is tested by Maya’s desire for independence; Shahzad and Sabeena, whose desperation for a child becomes entwined with the changing face of Islam; and Ashok and Parvati, whose arranged marriage, made possible by an online matchmaker, blossoms into true love. Though these three middle-class couples are at different stages in their lives and come from diverse religious backgrounds, their stories build on one another to present a layered, nuanced, and fascinating mosaic of the universal challenges, possibilities, and the promise of matrimony in its present state.

Elizabeth Flock has observed the evolving state of India from inside Mumbai, its largest metropolis. She spent close to a decade getting to know these couples—listening to their stories and living in their homes, where she was privy to countless moments of marital joy, inevitable frustration, dramatic upheaval, and whispered confessions and secrets. The result is a phenomenal feat of reportage that is both an enthralling portrait of a nation in the midst of transition and an unforgettable look at the universal mysteries of love and marriage that connect us all.

Praise

"Elizabeth Flock takes us on an intimate cruise on the shifting sea of the heart, in the best book set in Bombay that I've read in years. Flock's total access to her characters and her highly sympathetic and nonjudgmental gaze prove that love and literature know no borders. Easily the most intimate account of India that I've read, and of value to anybody that believes in love and marriage." —Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City

"This remarkable debut is so deeply reported, elegantly written, and profoundly transporting that it reads like a novel you can’t put down. It’s both a nuanced and intimate evocation of Indian culture and a provocative and exciting meditation on marriage itself." —Katie Roiphe, author of The Violet Hour

“Elizabeth Flock has invented a new way of telling a love story. It’s part journalism, part true fable, and it takes you deep inside a country. Whatever it is, I couldn’t stop reading it.” —Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

Elizabeth Flock
Elizabeth Flock

Elizabeth Flock

Elizabeth Flock is a reporter for PBS NewsHour. She began her career at Forbes India Magazine, where she spent two years as a features and investigative reporter in Mumbai, and has worked for U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post. She has also written for the New York Times, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, the Hindustan Times and the Hindu. She lives in Washington D.C. The Heart is a Shifting Sea is her first book.

Lad Tobin
Lad Tobin

Lad Tobin

Lad Tobin is the author of two books about teaching creative nonfiction: Reading Student Writing: Confessions, Meditations, and Rants and Writing Relationships. His personal essays have appeared in The Sun, The Rumpus, and Fourth Genre. He is an associate professor in the English department at Boston College.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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