This Place That Place
By Nandita Dinesh
An impassioned and inventive debut novel about two people earnestly searching for a way to preserve their friendship across seemingly insurmountable political divides
IN A NAMELESS COUNTRY under military occupation, two friends prepare to attend a wedding. The young man is from the occupied region (“This Place”), the woman is from the occupying nation-state (“That Place”). The complicated relationship between these two protagonists with unusual professions—he is a Protest Designer and she is a De-programmer—is tested when, on the eve of the wedding, the occupying power, That Place, formally annexes This Place and declares a curfew.
Suddenly finding themselves confined to the same isolated space, the young woman and man try to kill time but inevitably wind up talking about the ways in which the war between their homelands pervades the unexplored and undeniable attraction between them. Will their relationship become another casualty of war?
This Place | That Place is an evocative debut that functions as a bold allegory for militarized occupations anywhere. As much a visual read as it is a literary one, this brilliant literary debut provides new ways to think about the intersections between the personal and the political; between occupier and occupied; between the kinds of bonds that endure, and those that have no choice but to fracture.