Every now and then, we come across a novel that moves us like no
other, that seems like a miracle of the imagination, and that
haunts us long after the book is closed. James Levine's The Blue
Notebook is that kind of book. It is the story of Batuk, an Indian
girl who is taken to Mumbai from the countryside and sold into
prostitution by her father; the blue notebook is her diary, in
which she recalls her early childhood, records her life on the
Common Street, and makes up beautiful and fantastic tales about a
silver-eyed leopard and a poor boy who fells a giant with a single
How did Levine, a British-born doctor at the Mayo Clinic, manage to
conjure the voice of a fifteen-year-old female Indian prostitute?
It all began, he told me, when, as part of his medical research, he
was interviewing homeless children on a street in Mumbai known as
the Street of Cages, where child prostitutes work. A young woman
writing in a notebook outside her cage caught Levine's attention.
The powerful image of a young prostitute engaged in the act of
writing haunted him, and he himself began to write.
The Blue Notebook brings us into the life of a young woman for whom
stories are not just entertainment but a means of survival. Even as
the novel humanizes and addresses the devastating global issue of
child prostitution, it also delivers an inspiring message about the
uplifting power of words and reading-a message that is so important
to hold on to, especially in difficult times. Dr. Levine is
donating all his U.S. proceeds from this book to help exploited
children. Batuk's story can make a difference.
"From the Hardcover edition."
Spiegel & Grau
|Country of origin:
James A. Levine
||203 x 135 x 16mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
General & literary fiction >
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