Noon is a profound and far-reaching novel set amidst two decades of convulsive change in the ‘new’ New World, with at its core a man whose heart is split across two cultures’ troubled divide. Rehan Tabassum has grown up in a world of nascent privilege in Delhi. His mother is a self-made lawyer and her new husband a wealthy industrialist, their lives the embodiment of a dazzling, emergent India. But there is a marked absence in Rehan’s life: his father, Sahil Tabassum, who remains a powerful shadow across the border in Pakistan. Written with insight and passion, this is an electrifying, often surprising story of a young man coming of age alongside the two countries out of which he was born, as Rehan travels through lands of sudden wealth and hidden violence, in a frequently toxic atmosphere of political quicksand and moral danger, towards the centre of his father’s world. In the book’s final section – a thrilling piece of storytelling set in a sinister port in Pakistan and one of the more remarkable endings in modern fiction – Noon confirms its place as a major work of fiction from a writer uniquely placed to bear witness to some of the most urgent questions of our times. Praise for The Temple-Goers ‘Naipaul’s praise israre enough to be notable; and Taseer lives up to it . . . among the sharpest and best-written fictions about contemporary India’ Independent ‘A coolly accomplished, pulsating account of modern-day Delhi’ Guardian
What does it mean to be a young Muslim in the twenty-first century? When Aatish Taseer receives a challenging letter from his estranged father in Pakistan, he decides to set off on an expedition across the Islamic world in search of his own Islamic heritage, as well as to discover how other young people across the Middle East felt about theirs. In a post-9/11 world Aatish is forced to confront himself and his relationship with the religious and secular worlds he moves in, as one of many 'crisis children living on the faultline of Islam and modernity.' He explores issues of identity and religious self-discovery with a fascinating cross-section of people ranging from transvestites in full hijab in Istanbul, and Norwegians considering conversions in Damascus, to Hare Krishnas in Tehran. As he travels, Aatish tells the story of his own family over the past fifty years. It is an absorbing and thought-provoking journey which culminates in an emotional reunion between Aatish and his father in Lahore, on a day that brings home the stark reality of attempts to reconcile old belief systems and liberal reform in a divided region where East meets West.
A young man returns home to Delhi after several years abroad and resumes his place among the city's cosmopolitan elite - a world of fashion designers, media moguls and the idle rich. But everything around him has changed - new roads, new restaurants, new money, new crime - everything, that is, except for the people, who are the same, only maybe slightly worse.
Then he meets Aakash, a charismatic and unpredictable young man on the make, who introduces him to the squalid underside of this sprawling city. Together they get drunk and work out, visit temples and a prostitute, and our narrator finds himself disturbingly attracted to Aakash's world. But when Aakash is arrested for murder, the two of them are suddenly swept up in a politically sensitive investigation that exposes the true corruption at the heart of this new and ruthless society.
In a voice that is both cruel and tender, The Temple-goers brings to life the dazzling story of a city quietly burning with rage.
Skanda's father, Toby, has died, estranged from Toby's mother and from the India he loved. Skanda is tasked with fulfilling Toby's final wish and returning his ashes to his birthplace. It is a journey that takes him from Manhattan to Delhi, and deep into the story of his family: in particular, to a night three decades earlier, when an act of shocking violence forced his parents' fragile marriage apart. Set at flashpoints in 1975, 1984, 1992 and the present day, THE WAY THINGS WERE shows how our most deeply personal stories are shaped by ancient history and volatile politics; how the life of a country and the life of an individual are irrevocably entwined. Spanning three generations, it is at once intimate and panoramic, with a thrilling ambition that places it alongside such masterpieces as A SUITABLE BOY and A FINE BALANCE.