Fiction. Asian Studies. Kavita Gupta is a woman in transition. When her troubled older brother, Sunil, disappears, she does everything in her power to find him, convinced that she can save him. Ten days later, the police arrive at her door to inform her that Sunil's body has been found. Her world is devastated. She finds herself in crisis mode, trying to keep the pieces of her life from falling apart even more. As she tries to cope with her loss, the support system around her begins to unravel. Her parents' uneasy marriage seems more precarious. Her health is failing as her unprocessed trauma develops into more sinister conditions. Her marriage suffers as her husband is unable to relate to her loss. She bears her burden alone, but after hitting her lowest point, she knows she needs to find a better way of coping. Desperate for connection, she reaches out to a bereavement group, where she meets Hawthorn, a free-spirited young man with whom she discovers a deep connection through pain. After being blindsided by a devastating marital betrayal, she wonders if a fresh start is possible in the wake of tragedy. Will she escape her problems and start over? Or will she face the challenges of rebuilding the life she already has? SIDE BY SIDE is a story about loss, growth and the search for meaning in the wake of tragedy, illuminated through one woman's journey from harm to care.
Anita Kushwaha grew up in Aylmer, Quebec. She holds an MA and PhD in Human Geography from Carleton University, and is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at the Humber School for Writers, for which she was awarded the Bluma and Bram Appel Scholarship. She is the author of a novella, The Escape Artist, which was published in 2015. She lives in Ottawa.Author City: OTTAWA, ON CAN