On Thursday, publishing house Bloomsbury India announced the acquisition of “History’s Angel” by noted novelist Anjum Hasan.
The novel is expected to hit the stands next year, the publishing house said in a statement.
“I am thrilled that everyone at Bloomsbury has put their faith in ‘History’s Angel’. It’s a strange and lonely time to be a thinking person in India and I’m fighting my corner as a novelist here, asking what happens if people still cling to those once-vaunted novelistic qualities — irresponsible daydreaming, intellectual pride, ethical doubt and love of language,” said Hasan, the author of three novels and two short story collections.
Her books have been shortlisted for the Indian Academy of Letters Prize, the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Hindu Best Fiction Award and the Crossword Fiction Award.
The story of her upcoming novel revolves around Alif, a middle-aged and mild-mannered school teacher of history. While his profession sees him occupied with the past, the present weighs heavily on him. One day, on a school trip to a glorious Mughal monument, a Hindu student needles Alif about being Muslim.
“In a fit of anger, he twists the boy’s ear. Suddenly Alif is out of a job. His life descends into chaos. His home city, too, is engulfed by the shadow of violence,” wrote the publishers in their description of the book.
According to the publishers, the book captures India’s “glory and gloom past and present like no other novel”.
“Anjum Hasan is one of the best Indian writers at work now. Her writing is unflashy and lovely, marked by clarity of thought and depth of feeling. We are incredibly excited about it at Bloomsbury. It is not often we get to publish a novel that is engrossing, troubling and entertaining in equal measure,” said Sivapriya R, literary and translations publisher at Bloomsbury India.