Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Arcade Publishing; 1st edition (September 10, 2001)
A powerful novel–set in and around a riot in India in 1989–about love hate, cultural collision, religious fanaticism, the ownership of history, and the impossibility of knowing the truth by the award-winning author of The Great Indian Novel.
Who killed twenty-four-year-old Priscilla Hart? And why would anyone want to murder this highly motivated, idealistic American student who had come to India to volunteer in women’s health programs? Had her work make a killer out of an enraged husband? Or was her death the result of a xenophobic attack? Was she involved in an indiscriminate love affair that had spun out of control? Had a disgruntled, deeply jealous colleague been pushed to the edge? Or was she simply the innocent victim of a riot that had exploded in that fateful year of 1989 between Hindus and Muslims?
In his long-awaited new novel, Shashi Tharoor, the acclaimed author of The Great Indian Novel and Show Business,whom the Independent(London) called “one of the finest novelists writing in English today,” once again triumphs. Experimenting masterfully with narrative form, he chronicles the mystery of Priscilla Hart’s death through the often contradictory accounts of a dozen or more characters, all of whom relate their own versions of the events surrounding her killing. Like his two previous novels, Riot probes and reveals the richness of India, and is at once about love, hate, cultural collision, the ownership of history, religious fanaticism, and the impossibility of knowing the truth.
In plot, style, and characterization, Shashi Tharoor’s latest novel is a brilliant tour de force.