Friday, September 16, 2011

Elegant but limited

Aatish Taseer’s latest novel, Noon, despite being a slim and incredibly easy book to read, is not an easy one to describe. It is composed of four unequal parts, each longer than the last, with a prologue and epilogue. All the sections are bound together by the presence of Rehan Tabassum, the child of an Indian Sikh woman and a Pakistani Muslim father (similar to Taseer’s own life), although some sections are from his first-person perspective, and others from a third-person perspective.

Through the four stories of Noon, a reader follows Rehan from his early childhood all the way to the present day. A reader is walked through an evolving, triangular relationship between Rehan, his mother and his grandmother; the changing social dynamics between India’s new business elite and the decay of its old, compromised feudal lords; an investigation into a robbery; and finally the power play within a politically and economically powerful family in Pakistan. Closely observed, and finely told, the stories have atmosphere and resonance.

Full report here Mint

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