News By/Courtesy: Lia Jils | 07 Oct 2020 15:25pm IST


  • The wall is Gautam Bhatia's first novel.
  • This is mainly a childrens's and young adults adventure book.
  • The Wall imagines what happens to the state and its people when it completely isolates itself.

The wall by Gautam Bhatia is his first novel works with many of the classical tropes. It is a speculative fiction set within the imaginary city of Sumer Which is surrounded by a wall that is impenetrable and insurmountable. It is his first book of fiction. He has previously been an editor of the speculative -fiction magazine, Strange Horizons. He also published two books in the Indian constitution. His first novel is not just an exploration of the law but an examination of the present state of democracy. Major leaders of the world such as the US president have glorified wall buildings, but Israel maintains walled segregations and occupations and that is replicated in other new territories of the world. This novel imagines what happens to a state and its people when it completely isolates itself. The city of Sumer has been secluded from the surface world by its fortifications. Priests called shoortans are trying to build a single-origin myth to protect the wall. A group of youth called Young Tarafians is trying to break from the other side.


The wall produces strong imagination like outdated and authoritarian laws which the ruling elite of the Sumer push through Sunrise is called "wallrise" and the citizens cant imagine a pure horizon where the land or water meets the sky without a human-made barrier. The task of the people is to imagine the horizon. Taraf poetry is great and makes the people reimagine the world without walls. Sumer shows the attempts of equality, freedom, and happiness seems to be falling apart. Sumer's marriage laws are an attempt to solve the problems of overpopulation. Inter-caste or inter-class love is no longer easily allowed in Sumer but same-sex love is preferred and it does not affect the population growth.


The wall of the city prevents witnessing the outside world. Freedom of speech is a cardinal virtue in Sumer so that the Tarafians makes bold statements questioning the status quo. It is the young people who are full of hope, adventure, and idealism. The atmosphere is like a children's or young adult's adventure book. The reader identifies and wishes to know more about Mithila and there are also certain deaths and disappearances to enforce a greater sense of urgency. It is the young Tarafians who must challenge the limits of outdated norms. It is an important addition to the Indian and world speculative fiction.


This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion, etcetera. This article is based purely on the author’s personal opinion and views in the exercise of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(A) and other related laws being enforced in India for the time being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 08 Oct 2020 17:30pm IST

Tags : #books #fiction #novel

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