The Pagoda Tree – Claire Scobie

The pagoda tree

We’re offering 15 reading groups the chance to read and review Claire Scobie’s The Pagoda Tree, a lavishly-told, captivating story of one woman’s life in eighteenth-century India. Reading groups will also receive the opportunity to take part in a Twitter Q&A with Claire, so they can share any thoughts and questions they have with the author.

We’ll inform reading groups of the date and time of the Q&A, so they can share their questions with @ReadingAgency and @unbounders using hashtag #PagodaTree.

Members of the chosen groups are asked to leave their reviews on Amazon as well as on the review forms we’ll provide. We have sets of 10 books to give away to 15 lucky reading groups.

If you’d like to take part, all you have to do is complete this short survey telling us a little bit about your reading group by 20 August.

About the book

An epic novel set in eighteenth-century India about love, loss and exile, and the fate of individuals when two cultures collide.

Tanjore, 1765. Maya plays among the towering granite temples of this ancient city in the heart of southern India. Like her mother before her, she is destined to become a devadasi, a dancer for the temple. It is expected she will be chosen as a courtesan for the prince himself. But as Maya comes of age, India is on the cusp of change and British dominance has risen to new heights. The prince is losing his power and the city is sliding into war. Maya is forced to flee her ancestral home, and heads to the bustling port city of Madras, where East and West collide.

Far from home the East India Company is acting like a country in its own right and the British troops are more of a rabble than the King’s army.

Into this world steps Maya who captivates all who watch her dance. Thomas Pearce, an ambitious young Englishman who has travelled to India to make his fortune is entranced from the moment he first sees her.

But their love is forbidden, and comes at enormous cost.

About the author

Claire Scobie is an award-winning British journalist and author who has lived and worked in the UK, India and now Sydney. Her travel memoir Last Seen in Lhasa (Random House) won the 2007 Dolman Best Travel Book Award. Her novel, The Pagoda Tree, was first published by Penguin Australia and chosen by Good Reading magazine as one of their Best Fiction Reads 2013.

Claire runs creative writing workshops at the Faber Academy in London and across Australia; mentors writers one-on-one and hosts a literary tour to India to the Jaipur Literature Festival with Abercrombie & Kent. She writes for numerous publications, including London’s Daily Telegraph, Destinasian and contributes to the Sydney Morning Herald. Through her business Wordstruck, Claire advises companies and leaders on how to harness the power of storytelling as a strategic business tool. She is a regular guest at international writers’ festivals, a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and in 2013, completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Western Sydney.

Closing date: 20 August

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