MG Vassanji: A Delhi Obsession
Two-time Giller Prize winner, M.G. Vassanji, returns with a powerful new novel about grief and second chances, tradition and rebellion, set in vibrant present-day Delhi.
Munir Khan, a recent widower from Toronto, on a whim decides to visit Delhi, the city of his forbears. Born in Kenya, he has lost all family connections, and has never visited India before.
While sitting in the bar of the Delhi Recreational Club where he's staying, an attractive woman joins his table to await her husband. A sparring match ensues. The two are from different worlds: Munir is a westernized agnostic of Muslim origin; Mohini, a modern Hindu woman. Utterly witty and charming, she's religiously traditional, but also a liberal and provocative newspaper columnist. Against her better judgment, Mohini agrees to show Munir around the city. What follows is a passionate love affair.
This is a period of rising Indian nationalism in modern India that at times finds outlet in senseless violence. Constantly lurking at Munir's Club is the menacing and foreboding presence of a fanatical nationalist group. To them Munir Khan is simply a Muslim "love-jihadi" who has led the pride of Hindu womanhood, Mohini Singh, astray.
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