A People's History of Heaven

Pages: 304
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

A People's History of Heaven

Mathangi Subramanian

An atmospheric and inspiring story of resilience: Slumdog Millionaire meets Shantaram
9781786076762 (5 Sep 2019)
RRP £14.99

The Book

A politically driven graffiti artist. A transgender Christian convert. A blind girl who loves to dance. A queer daughter of a hijabi union leader. These are some of the young women whom readers will come to love in the phenomenal novel, A People's History of Heaven.

Welcome to Heaven, a thirty-year-old slum hidden between brand-new high-rise apartment buildings and technology incubators in contemporary Bangalore. In Heaven, you will come to know a community made up almost entirely of women. They live hand-to-mouth, constantly struggling against the city government's plans to bulldoze their homes and build yet more glass high-rises. 


This is a story about geography, history, and strength, about love and friendship, about fighting for the people and places we love - even if no one else knows they exist. 

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 304
Imprint Oneworld



‘Subramanian's evocative novel weaves together a diverse, dynamic group of girls to create a vibrant tapestry of a community on the brink.' 

- Publishers Weekly

‘Everything about A People's History of Heaven is wonderful: the lyrical, light touch of the narrator, the story, the humor, and most of all, the girls.'

- Minal Hajratwala, award-winning author of Leaving India

‘A girl power-fueled story that examines some dark social issues with a light . . . touch.'

- Kirkus Reviews

‘How can a novel about a group of daughters and mothers on the verge of losing their homes in a Bangalore slum be one of the most joyful and exuberant books I've read? Subramanian writes without a shred of didacticism or pity, skillfully upending expectations and fiercely illuminating her characters' strength, intelligence, and passionate empathy. A People's History of Heaven should be a case study in how to write political fiction. Each page delighted and amazed me.'

- Heather Abel, author of The Optimistic Decade

‘Poetic... Subramanian's rich imagery conjures up the bustle of a diverse city where children live in poverty mere blocks from three-story homes where their mothers work as maids… As colourful as a Rangoli design, this bittersweet coming-of-age story will linger in the reader's mind.'

- Shelf Awareness

‘What a thrill to read a novel as daring and urgent as A People's History of Heaven. It's a story about defiance in the face of erasure, about the survival tactics of an unforgettable group of girls. I can't remember the last time I encountered a voice of such moral ferocity and compassion.'

- Tania James, author of The Tusk That Did the Damage

‘The power of these fierce young women shines in spite of their circumstances, and they prove just how beautiful and influential a strong, unconditionally accepting community is. Subramanian is a remarkable writer whose vibrant words carry a lot of heart. This inspiring novel is sure to draw in readers with its lyrical prose and endearing characters.'

- Booklist