The story of a billionaire family dynasty, led by a gold-plated madman, stewed in corruption, mired in violence, riven by infighting, deception and lies… The resonances will be there for anyone who knows King Lear - not to mention anyone struggling to come to terms with the new world order - from the rise of the religious right wing in India to the Trump dynasty in the United States. This is not just Shakespeare repurposed for our times – it’s a novel that urgently matters in 2017, and which will resonate for years to come.

Jivan Singh, the bastard scion of the Devraj family, returns to his childhood home after a long absence – only to witness the unexpected resignation of the ageing patriarch from the vast corporation he founded, the Devraj Company. On the same day, Sita, Devraj’s youngest daughter, absconds – refusing to submit to the marriage her father wants for her. Meanwhile, Radha and Gargi, Sita’s older sisters, must deal with the fallout… And so begins a brutal, deathly struggle for power, ranging over the luxury hotels and spas of New Delhi and Amritsar, the Palaces and slums of Napurthala, to Srinagar, Kashmir. 

Told in astonishing prose – a great torrent of words and imagery – We that are young is a modern-day King Lear that bursts with energy and fierce, beautifully measured rage. Set against the backdrop of the anti-corruption protests in 2011–2012, it provides startling insights into modern India, the clash of youth and age, the hectic pace of life in one of the world’s fastest growing economies – and the ever-present spectre of death. More than that, this is a novel about the human heart. And its breaking point.

 

Our December pick for Ninja Book Club this retelling of King Lear will stay with you for a long time. 

 

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We That Are Young by Preti Taneja

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