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Aatish Taseer was born in Delhi in 1980. He has worked as reporter for Time Magazine and has written for the Sunday Times, Prospect and India Today. He has also written a travel memoir, Stranger to History: a Son's Journey through Islamic Lands (2009) and a highly acclaimed translation Manto: Selected Stories (2008). He lives in Delhi and London.
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010. Novels set in modern day India are very much in vogue at the moment but what makes this one stand out is the assured and accomplished writing and this is reflected in the fact it was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award recently. The Temple-goers introduces us to a sensational new storytelling talent - and a shocking new side of Indian society. An author to watch out for. It tells the story of two young men from very different sides of the tracks: one cast adrift in a world of fashion parties, media moguls and designer labels, the other who reveals to him the city's hidden and squalid underbelly. But when a body is found floating in the canal and one of them is accused of the murder, some deeply unsettling truths begin to emerge, exposing their friendship and the dark and troubled heart of the city in which they live...
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010.Costa Book Awards 2010 Judges' comment: "We loved Aatish Taseer's audacious and disturbing multi-layered story of modern Delhi."
When Aatish Taseer first came to Benares, the spiritual capital of Hinduism, he was eighteen, the Westernized child of an Indian journalist and a Pakistani politician, raised among the intellectual and cultural elite of New Delhi. Nearly two decades later, Taseer leaves his life in Manhattan to go in search of the Brahmins, wanting to understand his own estrangement from India through their ties to tradition. Known as the twice-born--first into the flesh, and again when initiated into their vocation--the Brahmins are a caste devoted to sacred learning. But what Taseer finds in Benares is a window on an India as internally fractured as his own continent-bridging identity. At every turn, the seductive, homogenizing force of modernity collides with the insistent presence of the past. In a globalized world, to be modern is to renounce India--and yet the tide of nationalism is rising, heralded by cries of 'Victory to Mother India!' and an outbreak of anti-Muslim violence. From the narrow streets of the temple town to a Modi rally in Delhi, among the blossoming cotton trees and the bathers and burning corpses of the Ganges, Taseer struggles to reconcile magic with reason, faith in tradition with hope for the future and the brutalities of the caste system, all the while challenging his own myths about himself, his past, and his countries old and new.
When Skanda's father Toby dies, estranged from Skanda's mother and from the India he once loved, it falls to Skanda to return his body to his birthplace. This is a journey that takes him halfway around the world and deep within three generations of his family, whose fractures, frailties and toxic legacies he has always sought to elude. Both an intimate portrait of a marriage and its aftershocks, and a panoramic vision of India's half-century - in which a rapacious new energy supplants an ineffectual elite - The Way Things Were is an epic novel about the pressures of history upon the present moment. It is also a meditation on the stories we tell and the stories we forget; their tenderness and violence in forging bonds and in breaking them apart. Set in modern Delhi and at flashpoints from the past four decades, fusing private and political, classical and contemporary to thrilling effect, this book confirms Aatish Taseer as one of the most arresting voices of his generation.
Set over twenty years of convulsive change, Noon is the story of Rehan Tabassum, a young man whose heart is split across two cultures' troubled divide. Throughout his young life, Rehan has been aware of his father's absence. The journey to find him is long and difficult, from the glitter of his mother's New Delhi to the Pakistan of her former lover, the man Rehan has never known. Through lands of sudden wealth and hidden violence, in a toxic atmosphere of blackmail and moral danger, he travels towards the centre of a dark and shifting world. But his imagined destination is simply another beginning . . . `As the political and personal undergo seismic shifts, Taseer grapples with new ways of telling stories. In both form and content, he conveys with great acuity what happens when the ground beneath our feet is shaken to its core' Independent `An engrossing and gifted writer' GQ `Imbued with a feel of latent menace, Noon explores a morally unedifying world of power, corruption, violence and complicity' Guardian `Gripping' Sunday Times
As a child, all Aatish Taseer ever had of his father was his photograph in a browning silver frame. Raised by his Sikh mother in Delhi, his father, a Pakistani Muslim, remained a distant figure. It was a fractured upbringing which left Aatish with many questions about his own identity. Stranger to History is the story of the journey Aatish made to try to understand what it means to be Muslim in the twenty-first century. Starting from Istanbul, Islam's once greatest city, he travels to Mecca, its most holy, and then home through Iran and Pakistan. Ending in Lahore, at his estranged father's home, on the night Benazir Bhutto was killed, it is also the story of Aatish's own divided family over the past fifty years.