The Heart Flutters at Night

A campus novella by Mariam Henna

The clock moved. Sarah felt as if she was floating in space, giddy, as light as a feather. One by one, the tenants started to recount the mysteries of Gemvilla.

Fleeing from grief, Sarah takes solace in a small campus town. Apprehensive yet hopeful, she settles into her new life in a rented studio apartment at Gemvilla.

At a dinner party, she meets and befriends her neighbours—a reclusive musician, a literature student, a shaman, a conspiracist, a reluctant engineering student. The night brings with it rumours of her room, of how it had driven away its previous tenants, and her scepticism turns to curiosity as her neighbours narrate its peculiar history. The promise and excitement of a fresh start soon becomes a descent into fear, shame, and alienation.

In vivid vignettes, The Heart Flutters at Night follows a writer’s journey of rediscovery as Sarah travels back and forth in time, negotiating the spaces of memory and reality to piece together the story of a child whose voice had been silenced.

About the Author

Mariam Henna is a writer and publisher currently residing in Ernakulam, Kerala. She has completed her postgraduate degree in English from Manipal Centre for Humanities, Karnataka.

Over the years, she has worked in the field of literature and arts as an editor, designer, and research assistant. In 2020, she and her partner co-founded a creative studio as well as a literary imprint with a vision of providing a platform for new and unheard voices. She spends her time learning and exploring her interests in literature, gender studies, literary theory and history, publishing, and creative writing.

The Heart Flutters at Night is her debut novella.

Formats: Paperback and Kindle Ebook

Published on: 7 January 2022

Book Trailer for The Heart Flutters at Night


“The book’s melancholy feel and feminist themes are belied by the descriptions of place that make the book a particular joy to read.”

– Susan Blumberg-Kason, Asian Review of Books

Read more at:

“Through the 116 pages of The Heart Flutters at Night, a novella from 2022, you’d want to stretch your hand out and caress Sarah ever so gently. Her name appears in the very first page, when she is ‘caught’ by a grief that comes unannounced. Mariam Henna, the author, plants Sarah unobtrusively into the picture, a frail figure passing from place to place without noise, almost transparently between her many worlds—from the unhappy childhood in Kerala to the unsettling adulthood she negotiates with. In the present, she is in Mallikad, a town shaped out of Manipal where Mariam spent two years as a student. It is there that the manuscript of this literary novella took form.”

– Cris, The News Minute

Read more at:

“Mariam’s writing is evocative. I love how her story has a tranquil and a dream-like effect, where ones dreams and consciousness seems to be superimposed over another… This is a book you can read in one sitting, a short read but a lingering one that will leave you wanting to flip the pages all over again.”

– Zuicy, Bookstagram

Read more at: