Megha Mazumdar’s soon-to-be published A Burning is the best debut novel I have come across in a long time. In telling the story of a young Muslim girl whose life is undone by a single social media post, it creates a kaleidoscope of contemporary urban India, with its internet-driven hysteria, religious fanaticism, rampant corruption, poisoned air, random violence, enraged mobs and pervasive misogyny. The interconnected stories seem to leap from the headlines and the picture is often horrifying – yet somehow Mazumdar also succeeds in capturing the boundless energy and starry-eyed hopefulness of the country’s youth. A Burning signals the arrival of a new voice of immense talent and promise.

US: Knopf, June 2, 2020
India: Hamish Hamilton, June 2020.
Canada: McClelland & Stewart, June 2, 2020
UK: Scribner, January 2021

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