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The Assassinations

The Assassinations

Vikram Kapur

Category

Fiction

Format

Paperback with flaps

Price

$299.00 $270.00

In Stock

Excerpt

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$299.00 $270.00

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(Paperback with flaps | ISBN 9789386702333 | 224 pp | November 2017)

Summary

To Deepa, Prem gave no hint of the churning inside him. In front of her he affected a cheery demeanour, indulging her in her plans for their honeymoon, which she kept revising. It was a welcome escape from the mayhem surrounding him. There were occasions where the pretence got to him and a voice rose inside, urging him to tell her everything. He silenced it. Deepa was a Hindu and would never understand.

Until then, he had never thought of her as different.

Prem Kohli, the handsome, ambitious son of a Sikh refugee, has the world at his feet. A glittering career lies ahead, and he has just got engaged to his college girlfriend, Deepa, overcoming her parents’ reservations about Hindus and Sikhs intermarrying. But, while Deepa remains occupied with their marriage plans, the Indian Army enters the Golden Temple. Prem cannot contain his rising anger at the desecration of the shrine and at the people around him who shrug it off as ‘teaching a lesson’ to the Sikhs. He begins growing out his hair and beard, and visiting the gurudwara regularly, where he learns about the militancy in Punjab. Matters come to a head a few months later, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated and anti-Sikh riots break out all over Delhi, as Prem is caught up in a vortex of violence and hate that threatens to engulf all of their lives.

In The Assassinations, Vikram Kapur writes with sensitivity about a topic that still holds painful memories, skilfully telling the story of how ordinary lives are distorted by the forces of history. At the same time, he masterfully evokes the New Delhi of the 1980s, with its wide, leafy roads masking the precariousness of its Punjabi middle class. This memorable book captures the turbulence of those times, while chronicling the ways in which continuing to live means coming to terms with many kinds of deaths.

Excerpt

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


Reviews

‘Vikram Kapur’s skillful narrative captures the human cost of the 1984 massacre of the Sikhs. His words speak to us because they do not preach. For the well-delineated characters in this story, 1984 is not just the past; it continues to shape the present.’
—Hartosh Singh Bal

‘Vikram Kapur’s novel, well-thought-out and carefully structured, is at the same time a family saga and the sensitive portrayal of one of the most tragic episodes in recent Indian history […] He demonstrates how the politics of hatred can tear people and communities apart, [bringing] this story from the 1980s to our own traumatic times.’—K. Satchidanandan


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About the author

Vikram Kapur

Vikram Kapur is the author of two other novels, Time Is a Fire and The Wages of Life, as well as the editor of an anthology of short fiction and non-fiction on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 called 1984 in Memory and Imagination. His work has been published widely in India and abroad. His short […]

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