Rebinding done by Spiralverse

The Henna Artist: A Reese's Book Club Pick Spiral-Bound | March 3, 2020

Alka Joshi

★★★★☆+ from 50,001 + ratings

$29.68 - Free Shipping

For fans of Balli Kaur Jaswal's Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and Thrity Umrigar's The Space Between Us, Alka Josh's The Henna Artist by is lushly-rendered, emotional book club fiction set in post-Raj 1950s Jaipur about a young woman struggling to shape her own destiny in a world pivoting between the traditional and the modern.

A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK

"Captivated me from the first chapter to the final page."—Reese Witherspoon


Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

“Eloquent and moving…Joshi masterfully balances a yearning for self-discovery with the need for familial love.”—Publishers Weekly

Look for The Secret Keeper of Jaipur and The Perfumist of Paris from New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi!

Publisher: HarperCollins
Original Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0778309452
Item Weight: 1.0 lbs
Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 50,001 + ratings
“Romantic, old-time Rajasthan leaps to life in the skilled hands of Alka Joshi. The Henna Artist brims over with richly drawn customs, locations, and characters. I can hardly wait for Alka Joshi’s next masterpiece.”
      --Sujata Massey, internationally bestselling author of The Satapur Moonstone and The Widows of Malabar Hill

 “Rich in detail and bright with tastes and textures, The Henna Artist is a fabulous glimpse into Indian culture of the 1950s.”—Bookpage, Starred Review

“Eloquent debut…moving… Joshi masterfully balances a yearning for self-discovery with the need for familial love.” –Publishers Weekly

"Vibrant characters, evocative imagery, and sumptuous prose create an unforgetable tale."--Christian Science Monitor

 “Joshi has constructed a bewitching glimpse into the past with a tough heroine well worth cheering on.”--Booklist


"The Henna Artist is a bold, ambitious, beautifully written novel about India in the decade after independence, and about class, identity, love and deceit. The broad cast of characters will etchthemselves into your psyche." --Tom Barbash, author of Stay Up With Me

"Fantastic, so evocative and beautiful and full of life and light.... The Henna Artist is detailed and sumptuous, vivid in its characters and deeply satisfying in its storytelling."--Leah Franqui, author of America for Beginners

"Alka Joshi's superb first novel is unforgettable.... Read this book slowly and savor it: Every page is rich with intricate pleasures for both the mind and the heart."--Anita Amirrezvani, author of The Blood of Flowers

"Like a brilliant, magical kaleidoscope, bursting with color, The Henna Artist kept me riveted from start to finish."--Lauren Belfer, NYT bestselling author of After the Fire and City of Light

"Everything a great novel needs is here: The protagonist balancing impossible burdens with her bountiful talents; the many other characters, each so colorful and complex, each necessary to the intricate and delicate plot, Such a satisfying novel!"--Sandra Scofield, author of The Last Draft

"Alka Joshi's debut novel is a richly drawn design of love and the many hungers that drive human beings...a lush, gorgeous journey that any reader will be sorry to see end."--Erin McGraw, author of The Good Life and The Seamstress of Hollywood

"The Henna Artist is a delicious, old-fashioned tale about timeless heartaches. There's something elemental and mythic about Lakshmi and her knowledge of spices, roots, oils, and barks that drew me into the kind of world I gladly lived in when reading fairy tales as a child, a place inhabited by powerful queens, talking birds, magical drinks, orphans, sad princesses, clever servants, and dangerous poisons. I'm in awe of Joshi's storytelling and a little jealous of the character who winds up with the talking bird. “Namaste!” as he says. “Bonjour! Welcome!”---Laura McNeal, author of The Practice House 
Born in India and raised in the U.S. since she was nine, Alka Joshi has a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from California College of Arts. Joshi's debut novel, The Henna Artist, immediately became a NYT bestseller, a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick, was Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, & is in development as a TV series. Her second novel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur (2021), will be followed by a third in 2023.