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About the Book

About the Book

A Burning

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

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. Lovely --- an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth, hope and humor --- has 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.

Audiobook available; read by Vikas Adam, Priya Ayyar, Deepti Gupta, Soneela Nankani, Neil Shah and Ulka Mohanty

A Burning
by Megha Majumdar