Shruti Swamy is the author of A House Is a Body: Stories and her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, and AFAR Magazine. In The Archer: A Novel (Algonquin Books), Vidya comes of age in 1960s- and 1970s-era Bombay. Hers is a childhood marked by the shattering absence and then the bewildering reappearance of her mother and baby brother at the family home. Restless, observant, and longing for connection with her brilliant and increasingly troubled mother, Vidya one day peeks into a classroom where girls are learning kathak, a dazzling, centuries-old dance form that requires the utmost discipline and focus. Her pursuit of artistic transcendence and escape through kathak soon becomes the organizing principle of Vidya’s life, even as she leaves home for college and falls in complicated love with her best friend. As the uncertain future looms, she must confront the tensions between romance, art, and the legacy of her imperfect mother. The Archer is a bold portrait of a woman striving toward life as an artist while navigating desire, duty, and the limits of the body.