Author(s): James A. Levine
THE BLUE NOTEBOOK, James A. Levine's first novel, tells the haunting story of Batuk, a 15-year old girl whose family, living in the Indian countryside, is in such poverty and debt that she is sold into sexual slavery and lives in a cage on the streets of Mumbai. Batuk is just one of many girls forced into prostitution, but against the odds, she manages to put pen to paper, writing stories of her life that help her transcend and make a certain sense of her daily existence. The novel is powerfully told in Batuk's voice, through the words she writes in her journal. Searing, moving, and surprisingly hopeful, THE BLUE NOTEBOOK explores how people, in the most difficult of circumstances, can use stories to understand and give meaning to their lives. First published 2009.
Will appeal to fans of Monica Ali, Khaled Hosseini, Andrea Levy, Meera Syal This debut novel is controversial and the subject matter will arouse debate and be a focus for publicity River of Words is inspired by a visit the author made to Mumbai where he saw a young prostitute in the Road of Cages who gave him the idea for the character of Batuk The author is a British citizen living in the US. He is a professor of medicine working at the Mayo clinic James is involved in setting up the Batuk Foundation for the eradication of child prostitution in Mumbai
'this haunting debut will disturb and inspire readers in equal measure.' WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY 'starkly compelling' SUNDAY HERALD 'Never lapsing into mawkishness or self pity, this elegantly crafted novel reminded me of The Diary of Anne Frank... An important book, not easily forgotten.' NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE 'James A Levine paints a picture of innocence and optimism in the face of unbelievable cruelty.' STAR MAGAZINE 'Reading The Blue Notebook, James Levine's fictionalised diary of a Mumbai child prostitute will seize your heart... her plight is beyond bleak, but in the words Batuk pours into her notebook, this starved-sparrow of a heroine finds laughter and salvation.' JEWISH CHRONICLE
James A. Levine is a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. In collaboration with the United Nations, James has focused his work on the plight of women and children in low-income countries. In his scientific work, Dr Levine has regularly appeared on CNN, BBC, CBC and the Discovery Channel, and has been repeatedly featured in the New York Times, USA Today, Time, The Wall Street Journal, US News, The London Times and many other major US and international papers.