We That Are Young
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Recommended by Gayle
‘King Lear transported to contemporary India. A huge, sprawling, ambitious debut novel, that manages to tackle climate change, capitalism, global inequality - while still being a cracking read.’
From the publisher
WINNER OF THE 2018 DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAN MICHALSKI PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE REPUBLIC OF CONSCIOUSNESS PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE JHALAK PRIZE
JIVAN SINGH, the bastard scion of the Devraj family, returns to his childhood home after a long absence – only to witness the unexpected resignation of the ageing patriarch from the vast corporation he founded, the Devraj Company. On the same day, Sita, Devraj’s youngest daughter, absconds – refusing to submit to the marriage her father wants for her. Meanwhile, Radha and Gargi, Sita’s older sisters, are handed the Company… And so begins a brutal, deathly struggle for power, ranging over the luxury hotels and spas of New Delhi and Amritsar, the Palaces and slums of Napurthala, to Srinagar, Kashmir.
Told in astonishing prose – a great torrent of words and imagery – We that are young is a modern-day King Lear that bursts with energy and fierce, beautifully measured rage. Set against the backdrop of the anti-corruption riots in 2011–2012, it provides startling insights into modern India, the clash of youth and age, the hectic pace of life in one of the world’s fastest growing economies – and the ever-present spectre of death. More than that, this is a novel about the human heart. And its breaking point.
PRAISE FOR WE THAT ARE YOUNG
‘Revelatory. Urgent and irresistible. … One of the most exquisite and original novels of the year.’ (The Sunday Times)
‘We that are young is like nothing else. Its daring is outrageous.’ (Literary Review)
‘Urgent and exhilarating… We that are young cuts rage with poetry – and produces a memorable national epic.’ (The TLS)
‘Brilliant… finely crafted… Taneja has given us that rarest of beasts: a page-turner that is also unabashedly political.’ (The Guardian)
‘A remarkable picture of contemporary India… Taneja’s sensuous writing brings women’s predicaments to life – [and issues] a chilling warning.’ (The Irish Times)
‘Misogyny, religious and caste prejudice, plus the madness of money all make for a magnificent, dark and satirical drama.’ (Marie Claire)
‘Sharp, cogent and evocative… the great appeal of We that are young concerns the serving of justice: discovering who gets what, as opposed to who deserves what.’ (The New Statesman)