West indian literature

Bloomsbury India to publish novelist Anjum Hasan’s next book

Thursday, the publishing house Bloomsbury India announced the acquisition of “History’s Angel” by the famous novelist Anjum Hasan.

The novel is expected to hit newsstands next year, the publisher said in a statement.

“I am delighted that everyone in Bloomsbury has trusted ‘the Angel of History’. It is a strange and lonely time to be a thinking person in India and I am struggling here as a novelist, asking what happens if people still cling to those once-vaunted novelistic qualities – irresponsible daydreaming, intellectual pride, ethical self-doubt and a love of language,” said Hasan, author of three novels and two collections of short stories.

His books have been shortlisted for the Indian Academy of Letters award, the Sahitya Akademi Awardthe Hindu Award for Best Fiction and the Crossword Fiction Award.

The story of his next novel revolves around Alif, a middle-aged, mild-mannered history teacher. While his job sees him busy with the past, the present weighs on him. One day, on a school trip to a glorious Mughal monument, a Hindu student tells Alif that he is a Muslim.

“In a fit of anger, he twists the boy’s ear. Suddenly, Alif is unemployed. His life descends into chaos. His hometown, too, is engulfed in the shadow of violence,” the publishers wrote in their description of the book.

According to the publishers, the book captures “the past and present glory and sadness of India like no other novel”.

“Anjum Hasan is one of India’s finest writers at work right now. His writing is simple and charming, marked by clarity of thought and depth of feeling. We’re incredibly excited about this at Bloomsbury. It’s not often that we publish a novel that is gripping, disturbing and entertaining in equal measure,” said Sivapriya R, Literary and Translations Editor at Bloomsbury India.

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