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Under the Visible Life

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction

Under the Visible Life

Kim Echlin

How hard would you fight for the things you love?

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781782832195 (4 Feb 2016)

About the book

Two women and a friendship that will change everything. Vividly rendered and sweeping in scope, Under the Visible Life is a stunning meditation on how hope can remain alive in the darkest of times, if we have someone to share our burdens with.

Katherine Goodnow, half Canadian and half Chinese, struggles through a 1950's childhood hostile to all she represents. She breaks free as a teenager, embracing love and adventure, but soon faces the challenges of unexpected motherhood and an unreliable husband.

Mahsa Weaver, half American and half Afghani, is only twelve when, after the death of her parents, she is sent to live with strict relatives in Karachi. Struggling to break free, she escapes to Montreal, but the threads of her past are not so easily severed, and she finds herself forced into an arranged marriage.

When Katherine and Mahsa meet in New York, they give each other the strength to fight for their freedom, and forge a bond of friendship that will last a lifetime.

About the author

Kim Echlin lives in Toronto. She is the author of Elephant Winter, Dagmar's Daughter, Inanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer, and The Disappeared, which was published in seventeen languages, nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction.


I lost count of how many times I was caught off-guard by the poignancy ... every page pits hope against despair ... this story of motherhood and friendship, anchored by two extraordinary heroines, will stay with me for a long time.

- Khaled Hosseini

Her prose is always arresting: plain and vigorous, a language of resistance, dreaming of female freedom

- Independent

Echlin has created two women who practically explode off the page with their desire, talent and brilliance. They are both incredibly flawed, making all the wrong choices, falling for difficult men, and raising kids on messy kitchens floors-and yet, like most women, they find a way to make life work through the chaos. The result is a book that has the rhythm, cadence and sexuality of a piano tune played in a little theatre on the wrong side of a big town.

- Heather O'Neill

Echlin impresses with the seemingly flawless presentation of Mahsa's Muslim family and the Karachi setting

- Guardian

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction