'Immaculately constructed, acidly observed and gripping from start to finish, A Burning is a brilliant debut.' The Guardian
'A big hit in America last year, this buzzy debut about the impact of a terrorist attack in a Kolkata slum on three connected characters is full of hot-button global topics, including violent nationalism' Metro
‘Powerful. […] Majumdar’s page-turning thriller seeks to open our eyes to the role of persecution in populist politics’ – Mail on Sunday
‘An evocative insight into class, corruption, injustice and power dynamics, this poignant tale makes for memorable reading’ Cosmopolitan
‘Majumdar conjures up three notably effervescent, intense voices’? Daily Telegraph
'A brilliant character study about politics and power, this assured debut moves at a thriller's pace but with a meticulous eye for detail.' Nikesh Shukla
'A Burning is a political thriller so charged and tense, it will keep you reading after lights out.' Red Magazine
A girl walks through the slums of Kolkata holding an armful of books. She returns home smelling of smoke, and checks her most prized possession: a brand-new smartphone, purchased in instalments. On Facebook, there is only one conversation.
On the small, glowing screen, she types a dangerous thing…
‘If the police didn’t help ordinary people like you and me, if the police watched them die, doesn’t that mean that the government is also a terrorist?’
Set in contemporary India, A Burning is the story of three unforgettable characters, all dreaming of a better future, whose lives are changed for ever when they become caught up in the devastating aftermath of a terrorist attack.
Jivan – a poor, young, Muslim girl, who dreams of going to college – faces a possible death sentence after being accused of collaborating with the terrorists.
Lovely – an exuberant hijra who longs to be a Bollywood star – holds the alibi that can set Jivan free, but telling the truth will cost her everything she holds dear.
PT Sir – an opportunistic gym teacher who once taught Jivan – becomes involved with Hindu nationalist politics and his own ascent is soon inextricably linked to Jivan’s fall.
Taut, propulsive and electrifying, from its opening lines to its astonishing finale, A Burning confronts issues of class, fate, prejudice and corruption with a Dickensian sense of injustice, and asks us to consider what it means to nurture big ambitions in a country hurtling towards political extremism.
A Burning is a novel for our times and for all time.
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“A Burning lays bare the urgent need for a justice system that upholds its ideals, elegantly excoriating a world where corruption and inequity rot the lives of those wrongly viewed as disposable.”
About the Narrators
Neil Shah is an Audie-nominated narrator and winner of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards who has recorded over 150 audiobooks. AudioFile magazine has commended him for “an absolutely mesmerizing listening experience” and as “an outstanding narrator who adds a healthy dose of personality to each of the characters.” As a classically trained actor with an MFA from the Old Globe/University of San Diego, he has appeared off Broadway and on regional stages, as well as in film and television. He records from his home studio in Portland, Oregon.
Soneela Nankani is an award-winning narrator with over three hundred titles in many different genres including Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, and Nonfiction. She has garnered sixteen Earphones Awards, nominations for Audie and SOVAS awards, and was recently awarded AudioFile magazine’s Golden Voice Lifetime Achievement Honor. Her audiobooks have been featured in Best Audiobooks lists by AudioFile magazine and the Washington Post, among others. In her spare time, she loves to read (yes, really), learn languages, try new recipes, and travel. She lives in the DC area with her husband and two mischievous daughters.
Vikas Adam is a classically trained actor with numerous credits in stage, film, commercials, and television, in addition to his over two hundred recorded audiobooks. His narrations have garnered numerous awards and nominations, including AudioFile Earphones Awards, various Best of the Year lists, and the prestigious Audie Award. He was an inaugural inductee into the Audible Narrator Hall of Fame.
Priya Ayyar is an audiobook narrator, actor, and writer with a BFA and MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her acting credits for television and film include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, All My Children, and the documentary The Children of War. She has appeared on stage in War of the Unheard, Aminta, and The Road Home, and she has written and performed in the plays Karmic Fusion and Losing Remote Control.
Fluent in Hindi, Urdu, and English, Deepti Gupta has an international career spread across India, Singapore, Pakistan, and the United States. As a narrator she brings an open and curious perspective to the author’s work. As an actress she has earned praise from the New York Times for her performance in the feature film Walkaway, and also stars in Record/Play (a sci-fi love story) which was an official selection at Sundance 2013. Besides working as an actress and voice talent, she also works as a consultant with corporate firms and businesses to help expand and deepen their diversity and inclusion strategies.
Timothy Andrés Pabon is an English- and Spanish-speaking voice-over artist who has worked extensively in advertising and audiobook narration. He has had acting roles on House of Cards and has also been a costar on HBO’s acclaimed series The Wire opposite country music legend Steve Earl. As a stage actor, he has worked off-Broadway at the June Havoc Theatre, and his regional credits include Center Stage, the Shakespeare Theatre, Arena Stage, the Hippodrome, Olney Theatre, Rep Stage, and GALA Hispanic Theatre.
Tim Curry has created a rich array of memorable characters
for both the screen and stage, most notably the role of the scientist in the
Broadway and film versions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He’s been
nominated for Tony Awards for his roles in My Favorite Year and The
Pirates of Penzance. His film credits include Muppet Treasure Island,
The Shadow, Clue, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The
Three Musketeers, and many, many more.
Kiff VandenHeuvel, voice talent and audiobook narrator, is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is an alumni of the Second City comedy theater. He is an accomplished improviser and sketch comedy director, and he teaches voice-over, improv, and directing at Second City Hollywood. He has appeared in hundreds of television and radio commercials and is well known in the video game community as the voice of Zachary Hale Comstock in Bioshock: Infinite.