Elizabeth Flock

JOURNALIST

I am a reporter at PBS NewsHour in Washington D.C., and author of THE HEART IS A SHIFTING SEA: LOVE AND MARRIAGE IN MUMBAI, which is out from Harper in the U.S. in February 2018, and from Bloomsbury in India and the UK in May.

Absorbing, candid.... An eye-opening exploration of how tradition and star-studded dreams shape love in modern India.
— Kirkus
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The Heart is a Shifting Sea is an intimate look at life in India, yet its intricately reported, novelistic portraits of marriage will resonate regardless of where you live. This book will keep you up reading deep into the night; it will make you ignore your loved ones, shirk your responsibilities. It is that good.
— Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex
For readers who love real-life love stories that are complicated, messy, and ultimately illuminating, then there’s no better book to pick up this winter.
— Bookish

In the vein of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, an intimate, deeply reported and revelatory examination of love, marriage, and the state of modern India—as witnessed through the lives of three very different couples in today’s Mumbai.

In twenty-first-century India, tradition is colliding with Western culture, a clash that touches the lives of everyday Indians from the wealthiest to the poorest. While ethnicity, class, and religion are influencing the nation’s development, so too are pop culture and technology—an uneasy fusion whose impact is most evident in the institution of marriage.

The Heart Is a Shifting Sea introduces three couples whose relationships illuminate these sweeping cultural shifts in dramatic ways: Veer and Maya, a forward-thinking professional couple whose union is tested by Maya’s desire for independence; Shahzad and Sabeena, whose desperation for a child becomes entwined with the changing face of Islam; and Ashok and Parvati, whose arranged marriage, made possible by an online matchmaker, blossoms into true love. Though these three middle-class couples are at different stages in their lives and come from diverse religious backgrounds, their stories build on one another to present a layered, nuanced, and fascinating mosaic of the universal challenges, possibilities, and promise of matrimony in its present state.

Elizabeth Flock has observed the evolving state of India from inside Mumbai, its largest metropolis. She spent close to a decade getting to know these couples—listening to their stories and living in their homes, where she was privy to countless moments of marital joy, inevitable frustration, dramatic upheaval, and whispered confessions and secrets. The result is a phenomenal feat of reportage that is both an enthralling portrait of a nation in the midst of transition and an unforgettable look at the universal mysteries of love and marriage that connect us all.