The Constituent Assembly of Nepal, in its very first meeting, abolished the monarchy in May 2008. After that watershed event, however, the way forward has been stalled by vexing questions. How is power in such a fractious polity to be shared? Which form of governance is best suited to the country – republicanism? federalism? How are the excesses of the decade long civil war to be reckoned? How is the People Liberation Army to be integrated with the Nepal Army? To what extent should neighbours be allowed to interfere in the internal politics of the nation? And why is it that the Constituent Assembly, years after it was elected, cannot draft a Constitution that is acceptable to all? In The Lives We Have Lost, Manjushree Thapa asks these vital questions and many others. In seeking answers, finds the nation still muddling its way from crisis to crisis, in desperate search of a center that will hold.