A Burning

A Burning

Book - 2020
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"After a fiery attack on a train leaves 104 people dead, the fates of three people become inextricably entangled. Jivan, a bright, striving woman from the slums looking for a way out of poverty, is wrongly accused of planning the attack because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir, a slippery gym teacher from Jivan's former high school, has hitched his aspirations to a rising right wing party, and his own ascent becomes increasingly linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely, a spirited, impoverished, relentlessly optimistic hjira, who harbors dreams of becoming a Bollywood star, can provide the alibi that would set Jivan free--but her appearance in court will have unexpected consequences that will change the course of all of their lives. A novel about fate, power, opportunity, and class; about innocence and guilt, betrayal and love, and the corrosive media cycle that manufactures falsehoods masquerading as truths--A Burning is a debut novel of exceptional power and urgency, haunting and beautiful, brutal, vibrant, impossible to forget"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780525658696
0525658696
9780525658702
Characteristics: 293 pages ; 22 cm

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From Library Staff

Majumdar's searing, timely debut tells the story of Jivan, a Muslim shop-girl who lives with her parents in Kolabagan, a slum of Kolkata, India. When Jivan witnesses a train being set on fire at the railway station near her home, and then criticizes the police about the incident on Facebook, she ... Read More »

Majumdar's searing, timely debut tells the story of Jivan, a Muslim shop-girl who lives with her parents in Kolabagan, a slum of Kolkata, India. When Jivan witnesses a train being set on fire at the railway station near her home, and then criticizes the police about the incident on Facebook, she ... Read More »

June 2020 pick

Majumdar's searing, timely debut tells the story of Jivan, a Muslim shop-girl who lives with her parents in Kolabagan, a slum of Kolkata, India. When Jivan witnesses a train being set on fire at the railway station near her home, and then criticizes the police about the incident on Facebook, she ... Read More »

Majumdar's searing, timely debut tells the story of Jivan, a Muslim shop-girl who lives with her parents in Kolabagan, a slum of Kolkata, India. When Jivan witnesses a train being set on fire at the railway station near her home, and then criticizes the police about the incident on Facebook, she ... Read More »


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l
laphampeak
Jul 29, 2020

A simple story with profound implications. A young girl brought up struggling in poverty is jailed for a crime she didn't commit. Those who had a place in her life chose money and fame through deception of truth. Throw in social media influence, divergent economic status, and gender identity and you have an intensely compelling story.

k
krsbozo
Jul 14, 2020

This is an overtly political book about inequality and subjugation of the Muslim minority by the Hindus in power in India. It tells the story through the lives of four different characters. There is a lot of heartache and suffering in this book, and it was a powerful experience to read it now when our own country is also suffering with political and cultural divisions. Perhaps we can learn ways to solve our problems through art such as this book that shines a light on problems in other countries, as well as our own.

b
brangwinn
Jun 14, 2020

Short and depressing, but I fear a very honest look at politics and justice in India. One good thing about 2020 is that it is filled with outstanding debut novels. Picked by Jenna Bush Hager as her June book club pick. I read it as America protests the George Floyd killing, its an interesting contrast to the arrest of an innocent Muslim girl implicated in the burning of a train by a terrorist group. Following three people—the girl, her P.E teacher and a transvestite who the girl was helping to learn English, you know the girl is doomed, but you keep hoping. This story is short, and to say more about the plot would ruin the book. Bush Hager did an excellent job picking book for this month.

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mhodgett
Jun 10, 2020

“Immersive…masterly… the elements of a thriller are transmuted into prismatic portraiture… A Burning has a similar urgency of appeal [to Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.] Its characters are at the very front of the stage, and we can feel their breath… Her spare plot moves with arrowlike determination…I can’t remember when I last read a novel that so quickly dismantled the ordinary skepticism that attends the reading of made-up stories. Early Naipaul comes to mind as a precursor, and perhaps Akhil Sharma’s stupendously vivid novel “Family Life.”… It’s only at the end of this brief, brave novel that one becomes fully aware of how broad its judgments have been, how fierce and absolute its condemnations. Through the gaps that open up among and behind these three characters, a large Indian panoply emerges.”
—James Wood, The New Yorker

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