A Burning, Megha Majumdar, hardback( Jan 2021)
A big hit in America last year, this buzzy debut about the impact of a terrorist attack in a Kolkata slum on three connected characters is full of hot-button global topics, including violent nationalism' Metro'
A girl walks through the slums of Kolkata holding an armful of books. She returns home smelling of smoke, and checks her most prized possession: a brand-new smartphone, purchased in instalments.
On Facebook, there is only one conversation. #KolabaganTrainAttack On the small, glowing screen, she types a dangerous thing... 'If the police didn't help ordinary people like you and me, if the police watched them die, doesn't that mean that the government is also a terrorist?' Set in contemporary India, A Burning is the story of three unforgettable characters, all dreaming of a better future, whose lives are changed for ever when they become caught up in the devastating aftermath of a terrorist attack.
Taut, propulsive and electrifying, from its opening lines to its astonishing finale, A Burning confronts issues of class, fate, prejudice and corruption with a Dickensian sense of injustice, and asks us to consider what it means to nurture big ambitions in a country hurtling towards political extremism. A Burning is a novel for our times and for all time.