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Publisher Description

A New York Times Notable Book

For readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri, an electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to riseto the middle class, to political power, to fame in the moviesand find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.

In this National Book Award Longlist honoree and “gripping thriller with compassionate social commentary” (USA Today), Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan's fall. Lovelyan irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humorhas the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

Taut, symphonic, propulsive, and riveting from its opening lines, A Burning has the force of an epic while being so masterfully compressed it can be read in a single sitting. Majumdar writes with dazzling assurance at a breakneck pace on complex themes that read here as the components of a thriller: class, fate, corruption, justice, and what it feels like to face profound obstacles and yet nurture big dreams in a country spinning toward extremism. An extraordinary debut.

Fiction & Literature
June 2
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

kaykaybean13 ,

Phenomal insight to a corrupted government and the inequities of the poor

A woman, who was born a man had fought her way to a better life, working hard to help her parents out of the slums and hoping to become an actress. Along the way, she posts a politically inappropriate message on FB and is soon taken into custody and blamed for a horrific burning of a train and it’s passengers death by throwing fire into their compartments ultimately killing over 100 people.
She is innocent yet the police and political unrest in the county needs someone to blame. After a harrowing unfair and unjust one sided trial she is sentenced to death. Those who could have saved her were bullied by the government, their own self preservation becoming a priority and others were bought off by officials. It is a terribly difficult story to read, yet resonated loudly and had similar parallels to corrupt governments, politicians and police authorities not just in India but in our own country as well. Well written and the heartbreaking emotional connection the reader feels for all the characters is due to this authors skills and talent to not only make her characters human but to find and fully feel compassion for each of them. Well done!!

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