The Edge of Another World

The Edge of Another World

Pepita Seth




Paperback with flaps


$6.30 $5.67

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Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

$6.30 $5.67

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(Paperback | ISBN 9789385288371 | 410 pages | August 2015)


The Edge of Another World is the story of three women living in different times and spaces, whose lives enmesh and interconnect in strange and unforeseen ways.

Shaken by her mother’s death, Sophie, a contemporary English woman, accepts the offer of a holiday in Portugal’s Alentejo region, at a hotel that was once a convent. Satishan Nambiar, a historian from Malabar in Kerala, tells her about the frescoes in the convent’s church and the great megalithic standing stones where Sophie finds the small figure of a Madonna-like Indian goddess. Before they part, Satishan invites her to Malabar…

Born to an unknown mother during the throes of an earthquake in sixteenth-century Portugal, Inês yearns to know her origins. Although taken into a noble family’s household, her life changes when Leonor, the family’s younger daughter, enters a convent, taking Inês as her servant. When Lucas van Domburg, the painter commissioned to create the frescoes in the church, sees Inês, he declares her to be ‘his’ Virgin, and insists on using her likeness in the murals. A tragic turn of events leaves Inês alone in Malabar but it is here that she finally discovers her true identity.

In Malabar, Thattakkutty, a Namboodiri Brahmin girl, lives an enclosed and orthodox life in an illam ‘a long time ago’. Irked by her intelligence, her guru schemes to destroy her. Simultaneously, rumours begin that her elder sister, Arya-edathi, has an illicit relationship with a Nambiar man. The distraught Arya-edathi dies by her own hand, and as Thattakutty runs to her, she sees that the great doors of the illam are open. She flees out, supported by her Goddess—uniting with her, rushing to meet her own fate.

Years and centuries later, the final drama of Thattakutty’s life will affect both Sophie and Inês.


Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


'Seth’s is an elemental world of mysticism where the truth is never what it seems and The Edge of Another World does exactly what the title suggests, bringing to light experiences not normally presented in terms of women and their identities, divorced from men or otherwise.'
—Women’s web

'What is intensely satisfying is the milieu that she describes, from the performance of Theyyam and the temple ritual to the cultural norms of Malabar in different times and under different circumstances. Put against the backdrop of Seth’s memorable photographs of Kerala and it all comes together. A revelation beyond the boundaries of a single-medium experience, for sure!'
—The Hindu

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About the author

Pepita Seth

Pepita Seth was born in London and grew up on a farm in Suffolk. Her career began in the cutting rooms, editing British and American documentaries and feature films. In 1970, the chance discovery of her soldier great-grandfather’s 1857 diary inspired her to make her first visit to India. Although she returned in 1972 she […]

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