Praise for “The Exiles” (The Two Krishnas)

The Exiles is classic story of love and loss told from the perspectives of a wife, husband and his lover. At the center of the novel is Pooja Kapoor, a betrayed wife and mother whose world capsizes when she discovers her husband, Rahul, has fallen in love with another man, Atif. The Exiles evokes unforgettable characters to explore how, with a new world come new freedoms, and with them, the choices that could change everything we know about those we thought we knew, including ourselves. Set in Kenya, India and finally, Los Angeles, where it culminates in an epic conclusion. The Exiles was a finalist for the prestigious Lambda Literary Award.

Buy it on Kindle or Paperback on AMAZON

The Exiles is a beautiful, sometimes joyful, yet heartbreaking exploration of love in all its manifestations. Here it is many days later, and I still find myself thinking about Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla’s insights into the fierceness and frailty of the human heart. Oh, the things we will do for and in the name of love. Dhalla is a brilliant young writer, and his novel is exquisite, drenched in emotion, and timely.”
– Lisa See, best-selling author of Shanghai Girls and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

“In The Exiles, a novel filled with unexpected turns and beauty, Ghalib Shiraz has examined with perceptive compassion the complex and heart-wrenching ties that bind families, and the secret desires that pull them apart.”
– Chitra Divakaruni, best-selling author of The Palace of Illusions

“Shiraz immerses us in his gripping narrative as he delves into the nooks and crannies of human desire and explores both its splendor and the havoc it can wreak. A formidably intelligent and adept writer, he has stretched my understanding of a world I know very little about with this touching and masterfully written novel.”
– Bapsi Sidhwa, author of New York Times Notable novel Cracking India and Water

“Half Bollywood, half Hollywood love story set in contemporary Los Angeles that is both up-to-the-minute and drenched in a romantic doom as riveting as the myths of ancient India, The Exiles is a skillfully plotted story of divided loyalties that has so much heart it’s at times painful to read, but is far too honest to put down–a fascinating read.”
–Andrew Holleran, author of Dancer from the Dance and Grief

“Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla writes with a voice that is both agile and compassionate. He renders scenes of great emotion with equal parts passion and precision. At it’s core, The Exiles is a classic tale of tragic, forbidden love, but Dhalla infuses it with an astute discussion of Hindu culture that should appeal to a broad cross-section of readers.”
– Christopher Rice, New York Times best-selling author of A Density of Souls

“A powerful, sure footed novel of love, longing and loss that richly portrays life like no other work of fiction I’ve read. With his complex cast of characters and poetically drawn landscapes, Dhalla’s talent shines and he shows us he’s wise beyond his years.”
– Mark Jude Poirier, author of Goats and Modern Ranch Living

“Serves as an exploration of love in its many forms: romantic, familial, and filial, among others. The novel provides a refreshing view of life and love in Los Angeles, particularly in the South Asian immigrant community…The Exiles isn’t strictly an immigrant narrative, a coming out narrative, or a religious narrative but rather lies somewhere between them all…The book draws a distinct line between love and passion and the way in which those feelings move us to action…A poignant mediation on love and relationship. The novel prompts reflection on how we form our identities and ultimately questions our duties to our families and ourselves.”
– Los Angeles Magazine

“Stands to be added to such to be added to novels such as The Namesake and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan as a story that blends relatable human drama with the tapestry of different cultures.”
– Frontiers Magazine

“Plays out like a modern Shakespearean tragedy…a multilayered, richly written story exploring a sexless marriage, a family drifting apart, the trappings of middle age, the thrill and fear of new-found same-sex love and the cultural insights of those that have immigrated to our country.”
– Instinct Magazine

“Ghalib Shiraz houses magic in his eyes, or in his hands or in his brain…He writes with such fluid prose that each page approaches a lapse into poetry. Not only is his story one which defies the reader to pause before the complex story plays out, but it also informs us of the myriad aspects of immigration and the sense of being dispossessed. In short this is a compelling novel that not only grows into our psyche but also quietly changes the way we perceive the injustices around us. There is so much in this novel to mesmerize the reader that words in a review falter in attempting to express the impact of this fine novel. Rarely has a love story in all its facets and permutations been so consistently effective and affecting. Dhalla is an inordinately gifted writer – one of our best. His gift is extravagant but it is also keenly honed in subtlety. We should be hearing a lot more about him in the coming months and years.”
– Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer

“As with Ode to Lata, his (semi) autobiographical debut novel about a young Hindu man coming to terms with being gay, out Indian author, Dhalla continues to write about provocative subject matters.”
– Advocate Magazine

“Worlds clash and lives are destroyed…(Dhalla) wrote this book because he wanted to expose the catastrophes people create when they lie to themselves as well as the people they love…Ghalib peppers his story with full-on drama and the book describes both the city of LA and the lives of its desi immigrants extremely evocatively.”
– VERVE Magazine

“Another masterfully written novel by the brilliant young writer Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla, an accomplished filmmaker and author of the critically acclaimed novel Ode to Lata. This fiction novel is simply wonderful.”
– Sahara Time

“A book about love coming out of the closet, and since it is not exactly between man and wife, there is inevitable trauma in the family…Dhalla has detailed all this with fascinating humanity and compassion.”
– Afternoon Despatch & Courier

“Grappling with the infidelity of your spouse is painful enough. Making it harder for Pooja Kapoor, a successful caterer, is the fact that Rahul, a high-flying banker, has given his heart to a young Muslim man, Atif. This forces the entire family, including their son Ajay, to recalibrate their definitions of right, wrong, morality, acceptability, sin and redemption. An intriguing premise by author-columnist-filmmaker Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla made even more magnetic by his lyrical prose inspired by Sufi poetry, Hindu culture and mythology. Indeed, The Exiles is the kind of book you engage with on so many levels – the plot itself, with its arresting characters; the deeper questions it throws up about our fragile truths, sexual politics and gender orientation; and most of all, the remarkable telling of it all. Sensitive, searing, sensual and always compassionate, Dhalla transports us to the crossroads of faith and fealty, duty and desire – and then shows us the way home, to the heart.”
– Harmony India

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