Canada Reads·Canadian

The Hero's Walk

Anita Rau Badami's novel was a finalist for Canada Reads 2016.

Anita Rau Badami

In The Hero's Walk, a middle-aged Indian man suddenly becomes the guardian of his seven-year-old granddaughter when her parents die in a car crash. It's a second shot at a life that's been disappointing so far, but to succeed he must become a better parent than he was to his own daughter, and support his young charge as she struggles to adjust to life in a small town in India.

The Hero's Walk was defended by Vinay Virmani on Canada Reads 2016.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews | More about this book

From the book

Soon the turtles were done and began to churn up the sand again, covering the holes, tamping them down tight, with slow, deliberate movements. And then the swaying trudge back to the gleaming sea. Sweeping their hind legs to erase every trace of their arrival, as meticulous as spies in foreign lands. "See how cunning they are," whispered Arun again. "They are making sure predators don't find their nests by following their footprints." The last of the turtles disappeared into the waters as silently as they had arrived. They would never see their babies hatch, would not return for one full year to lay another batch of eggs at the edge of the sea that had been there longer than even they had. Their young might live or die. The eggs they left with so much care might yield another generation of turtles — or not. Sripathi thought about the chanciness of existence, the beauty and the hope and the loss that always accompanied life, and felt a boulder roll slowly off his heart.

From The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami ©2001. Published by Vintage Canada.

Author interviews

The Montreal-based author talks about her 2000 novel, which is a contender for Canada Reads 2016.

More about this book

Canada Reads 2016 authors dissect their first sentences

7 years ago
Duration 3:33
The authors in this year's competition — Anita Rau Badami, Lawrence Hill, Tracey Lindberg, Saleema Nawaz and Michael Winter — read their books' crucial first sentences