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I Kick and I Fly

Ruchira Gupta



In the outskirts of Bihar’s Red Light District, fourteen-year-old Heera is living on borrowed time. Her father plans to sell her into the sex trade to pay off the family’s debts. But after watching her cousin suffer this fate, Heera is determined to find a way out. A chance encounter introduces her to the power of kung fu. Through martial arts, Heera learns to harness her own strength to protect herself and those around her. When her best friend goes missing, Heera suspects the worst. So she embarks on a daring rescue mission – one that will take her straight into the path of danger and halfway across the world.

  • Publication date: July 6, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780861546947
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 352
  • Publication date: July 6, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780861546961
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 352


'Any work from Ruchira Gupta is sure to further the cause of liberating women, especially, and in this novel, girls.' Alice Walker, author of The Colour Purple 

'In I Kick and I Fly, Ruchira Gupta has given young readers an irresistible story, and also one that could save lives. This book is a gift.'

Gloria Steinem

'I Kick and I Fly is a powerhouse of a debut. Ruchira Gupta has crafted a page-turner of a read, stepped in place and full of indelible characters, managing to be at once propulsive and enlightening, infuriating and inspiring. But maybe most important, Heera’s story is a beacon of hope to a generation of young people trying to transform an unjust world.'

Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay

'Having been to the brothels and red-light district I Kick and I Fly so searingly captures, I can testify that this book is essential reading for anyone interested in how to empower girls to break free from intergenerational prostitution and sex trafficking. Ruchira Gupta is nothing less than a great hero, and in her book, she has created one in Heera, as she seeks to defy the destiny of rape that poverty and men have assigned her.'

Ashley Judd

I Kick and I Fly is simply magnificent. A beautifully tender and sensitive exploration of one girl’s fight to reclaim her body in a world where the sex trade is seen as inescapable. I challenge anyone to read Heera’s story and be unmoved... I am so grateful for the chance to have read Heera’s story and to have been a part of her journey to self-empowerment.’ Ayaan Mohamud, author of You Think You Know Me

'A triumphant debut.'

Kirkus Reviews

'Ruchira Gupta gives readers an empathetic and unflinching glimpse into a world little known to outsiders. Visceral, prismatic detail lend an authentic sense of place, while Heera herself anchors the tale and pulls us in. In one corner is duty to her beloved family. In the other a chance to soar above the destiny everyone tells her she was born into. We watch breathlessly, never sure until the very end how she will kick and punch her way past her circumstances to find her own path to freedom.' Natalie C Anderson, author of City of Saints & Thieves

Ruchira Gupta

Ruchira Gupta is the founder-president of Apne Aap Women Worldwide. She is a social justice activist, feminist campaigner, Emmy Award–winning journalist and professor at New York University who has dedicated her life to creating a world where no child is bought or sold. I Kick and I Fly is her first novel.

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