Upcoming Meetings

Next online meeting: 19 June 2023, 6.30pm

Song of the Soil is a shining example of how one can write about a violent incident without recreating the violence. The author blends bildungsroman with a conflict story with great dexterity, bringing out new aspects of both forms. This book is able to make poetry out of brutal situations, but does so with honesty, humour and gentleness’The JCB Prize for Literature Jury

On a day of earthquake and rain, a young man gets bad news. Ripden, his childhood friend, has been swept away by a landslide. He makes his way back home to the village of his birth, and remembers their shared childhood – harsh teachers and truancy, bullies and backyard fights and, above all, the day they ran away together to find out what happened to Ripden’s father, who had vanished years before in the revolution for a separate state in the late 1980s.

‘This intense, evocatively translated novella takes us into the beating heart of a mountain community as it examines hopes, aspirations and betrayed dreams. Truly a song of the soil, it carries the breath of life’Namita Gokhale, author of Things to Leave Behind

‘A thing of beauty – and an important book that deserves to be read in many languages’ Prajwal Parajuly, author of The Gurkha’s Daughter


Chuden Kabimo is based in Kalimpong, India. He received the Yuwa Sahitya Akademi Puraskar (an award given by the Indian government for the best book published in a given language) for a collection of short stories titled 1986. Song of the Soil is his first novel.

Ajit Baral is a Kathmandu-based writer, translator, publisher and the director of the Nepal Literature Festival, now in its 10th year and the only international literature festival in the country. He is the author of The Lazy Conman and Other Stories: Folktales from Nepal (Penguin India).

Join The Club

To join the Litfest International Fiction Book Club, email Bill Swainson at [email protected]

You can buy a paperback copy of Song of the Soil and other book club choices by going to our online bookshop and in this way – or by donating – support the book club and Litfest’s work. Thank you.

Litfest’s international programme is funded by the Jan Michalski Foundation.