The Wildings

Publisher: Random House Canada
A thrillingly original story of the adventures of a small band of feral cats in Delhi who communicate by whisker mind-link, and face an unprecedented threat to their tribe's survival; for readers of Life of Pi and Philip Pullman.
     In the labyrinthine alleys and ruins of Nizamuddin, an old neighbourhood in Delhi, India, lives a small band of cats. Miao, the clan elder, a wise, grave Siamese; Katar, loved by his followers and feared by his enemies; Hulo, the great warrior tom; Beraal, the beautiful queen, swift and deadly when challenged; Southpaw, the kitten whose curiosity can always be counted on to get him into trouble... Unfettered and wild, these and the other members of the tribe fear no one, go where they will, and do as they please. Until one day, a terrified orange-coloured kitten with monsoon green eyes and remarkable powers lands in their midst--the first in a series of extraordinary events that threatens to annihilate them and everything they hold dear.
The Wildings is a gorgeous evocation of Delhi, a love paean to cats and a rich, often savage tale of survival and conquering one's fears.


Shortlisted for 2017 Waterstone Children's Book Prize for Older Readers
Longlisted for 2014 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
Shortlisted for 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize

“Nilanjana Roy’s novel is a delight to read. Eliot’s Old Possum would have enjoyed these Practical Indian Cats.” —Salman Rushdie

"The Wildings is above all a love paean to cats; that it also happens to be a marvelously spun novel that could well become a classic in its own time is almost secondary."—Sunday Guardian

"Gripping, humorous and truly immersive." —Sunday Indian

"A novel for all seasons and ages. . . . Roy has created a world of heightened senses and myriad species, a world that seems tangibly real." —India Today

“Roy has created an immersive world of scents and sounds—we feel the corrugated steel roofs under paws, learn the best places to stay dry in a monsoon. The sleek queens, brawling toms and tail-chasing kittens live by a feline moral code, and you can feel their claws unsheath at the thought of the human world plotting their destruction. . . . It’s an absorbing debut. . . . It’s enjoyable to be reminded of how much life teems in our cities, and of just how many stories have nothing to do with us.” —Maclean’s
“One of the joys of this novel is Roy’s intricately imagined animal, avian, even insect society—a community that lives alongside but not as part of the bumbling, oblivious Bigfeet (that’s us). An ode to New Delhi and a thrilling adventure to boot.” —The Globe and Mail
“[C]harming and sometimes chilling. . . . The novel is fable-esque until the deadly battle begins. . . . Roy’s obvious love of these creatures has produced a vivid world while warning of the dangers of isolation and fear. The Wildings is a novel that can seduce even those most indifferent to cats.” —Toronto Star
“[P]art Watership Down and part Slumdog Millionaire—and entirely mesmerizing.” —Reader’s Digest
“A beautiful re-visioning of Delhi, of friendship and of war. Roy has made the mind-link: her wildings hunt in my dreams.” —Alissa York, author of Fauna and The Naturalist 

“Nilanjana Roy’s The Wildings is a charming ode to the wild, feral, and caged cats of Delhi. It achieves so much in its ground-level, cat-centric witnessing of the urban landscape, and in the complex responses it provides to questions of freedom, difference, communication, instinct, and family. Roy’s cats bring to mind the creatures of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Rikki Tikki Tavi’ and Richard Adams’ Watership Down, and like these immensely popular stories, The Wildings has a similarly warm heartbeat. I predict that Roy will win fans from all ages with this delightful debut.” —Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things
“Nilanjana Roy’s dazzlingly original The Wildings zeroes in on the mysterious and danger-filled lives of cats in a Delhi neighbourhood. The narrative, like the domain it is set in, is strikingly unique. . . . If a debut novel can be equated with a cat’s first kill, The Wildings is as perfect a strike as Mara’s. Gripping, humorous and truly immersive, it is well worth a sequel.” —The Sunday Indian
“A vivid and introspective narration that unfolds the life of a band of cats that live in the alleys and ground of Delhi’s Nizamuddin area, the book delightfully welcomes you to their animal kingdom.” —The Times of India