We That Are Young by Preti Taneja

We That Are Young

Preti Taneja

Rooted in the ambiguity and hypocrisy of class and caste, this powerful insight into modern Indian is an engrossing read. A sense of intoxication and contamination pervades the unabashedly political dialogue in which the vulnerability of the characters arouses both scorn and sympathy. A multi-tentacled novel that leaves you raging.

Extract

Ranjit Uncle is already at the table, waiting for Radha to come sit by him. He stands to greet them; his eyes are a little bloodshot. He looks a little old. Ranjit Uncle: who taught her to mix a whisky sour before her wedding – survival skills, he said. Who took her to Dubai for her twenty-first birthday because Bubu was too busy with his mall. From whom Radha learned the art of get-what-you-want-without-losing-any-friends. Even his beard is a little untrimmed.
-You like the shawl? It is so you. His palm is damp. His voice, his breath are whisky over ice.
They take their seats, Radha, then Ranjit Uncle, then Jivan, then Bubu. One is her husband, one is her mentor, the other her oldest friend. She cannot tell which is the honest one, which is the naïve one, which is the monster under the bed.

Parallels
  • A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee
  • East of the Sun by Julia Gregson
  • The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy