NPR

Partition, Through A Child's Eyes, In 'The Night Diary'

Veera Hiranandani's new book is a coming of age story, for both her half-Muslim, half-Hindu heroine, 12-year-old Nisha, and Nisha's country — which is about to split into India and Pakistan.

is novel set at a pivotal — and bloody — moment in history, and told in the voice of a 12-year-old girl. Nisha takes us on her personal journey as part of the mass exodus of millions of Hindus and Muslims across the border between India and newly established Pakistan, a turbulent time known as Partition. We learn Nisha's story through her journal, full of the letters she writes to the mother she never knew, who died giving birth to Nisha and her twin brother. "My father went through Partition when he was nine," says author Veera Hiranandani. "He had to leave his home, with his mother, his father and his five siblings. Basically, they packed what they could, got on a train and left for the new border of India."

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