We That Are Young [Ebook ebook] author Preti Taneja – Kindle eBook, DOC & PDF Download

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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. Update 21618 Now the well deserved winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018 Congratulations to Preti Taneja and all at Galley Beggar This vibrant epic ambitious transplantation of King Lear to modern India is by far the longest book on the Republic of Consciousness Prize shortlist and looks a potential winner Taneja keeps the essential elements of the familiar Shakespeare version of the story in place but allows herself plenty of scope to explore the issues extremes of wealth and poverty corruption and factionalism of modern IndiaIt is probably easiest to list the main players with their Shakespeare euivalents Devraj Bapuji Lear a super rich magnate and owner of one of India s biggest companies his daughters Gargi Goneril Radha Regan and Sita Cordelia his henchmen Ranjit Gloucester and Kritik Kent Ranjit s sons Jeet Edgar and the illegitimate Jivan Edmund Albany and Cornwall become Surendra and BubuThe story is told in six parts The first five are told from the perspectives of the younger protagonists and at the end of each chapter Bapuji gets to speak for himself getting increasingly incoherent as the story proceeds This structure breaks up the linear narrative and in some cases leads to events being described than once from different viewpoints The last part is shorter and ties up the loose endsIn the first and longest part Jivan returns from America where he has been living with his now dead mother for 15 years and arrives on Bapuji s farm near Delhi every lavish excess is described and this allows Taneja to introduce the rest of the cast and the nature of the family business and to describe background events and his childhood memories Bapuji is the son of a Maharaja from Kashmir who has lost his land and his mother Nanu who is still alive at 90 he has built up the family firm from almost nothing initially by exploiting the skills of Kashmiri craftsmen One of Bapuji s pet projects is to build a luxury hotel in Srinagar the Kashmiri capital Over the course of Jivan s first day there Bapuji announces his retirement plans to the family over lunch and puts his daughters to the test and by the end of the day both Sita and Jeet have disappeared and Kritik has been dismissed for defending Sita In Sita s case this is because she does not want to be married off but wishes to pursue her own career as an environmental campaigner Jeet has been living a double life acuiring ancient artefacts for the company while maintaining a secret gay relationship he goes into hiding because he believes this is about to be exposedThe second part revolves around Gargi who is initially presented as a conscientious daughter and worthy heir to the business frustrated by India s archaic and sexist property laws She resolves to rid the business of corruption and modernise it she wants to maintain the unity of the company and refuses to sign the papers that legitimise Bapuji s plans to split the business The disappointments of her marriage to the impotent and largely useless Surendra are also described In this part Gargi argues with Bapuji and refuses to accommodate the regular parties of his 100 henchmenThe third part is about Radha who is vain and hedonistic She has been partying in Goa but she and Bubu head for Srinagar when they hear that Bapuji and Nanu are heading there having started to amass popular support by denouncing the company s activities and blaming his daughters Radha starts an affair with Jivan who is now employed as a company security man Bubu is a corrupt playboy who has been allowed to control Radha s share of the business Bapuji arrives to find that one of Kritik s deputies has been beaten left chained in the sun uarrels with Radha and walks away from the hotel The section ends with the blinding of Ranjit and the murder of Bubu no attempt has been made to spare any of the brutality of the originalIn the fourth part we meet Jeet in his guise of Rudra the Naph He has also journeyed to Srinagar living among the untouchables on the rubbish dump and surviving as a holy man and storyteller This is perhaps the most interesting part of the story in that it is almost the only part in which the action moves away from the elite owning class He encounters Bapuji in the storm the heath becomes the dump and is entrusted with looking after his father and instead of leading him to Amarnath Dover Cliffs he takes him back to Delhi and the farmThe fifth part returns to Sita who is the least realised of the main characters Her escape to Sri Lanka is barely described and by the time we meet her she is in a safe house in Kashmir with Kritik and the increasingly feeble Bapuji Unlike Cordelia she defends her unmarried status The remainder of the book plays out the rest of Shakespeare s denouementThe language of the book is interesting the dialogue includes a lot of Hindi much of it untranslated which can be a little frustrating for the untrained reader though there is never much doubt about the important eventsI was a little disappointed by the number of typographical errors mostly incorrect homophones but overall I can t find a strong reason not to award this book the full five stars and encourage others to read it

summary ✓ eBook or Kindle ePUB ☆ Preti Taneja

We That Are Young

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 poin. A modern day re telling of King Lear We Are That Young is a brilliant exploration of greed corruption and vice in modern India The novel follows the aristocrat cum royal family of Devraj a patriarch whose puissance dissolves once he cedes ownership of his company to his elder daughters Garghi and Radha only to rise ephemerally like a phoenix in a haze of self righteous indignation against the corruption inherent in the company he set up riding a wife of populism based on deep seated misogyny and malevolent nationalism We Are That Young both eschews the limitations so often placed on Indian literature whilst at the same time exploring the problems inherent in modern Indian society the uneven distribution of wealth the rise of parochial religious fundamentalism and the cultural schizophrenia India is experiencing under the relentless waves of globalizationThere story is told via multiple narrators Jivan the illegitimate son of Devraj s right hand man Ranjit is the first and penultimate narrator A vapid and ultimately egoistical young man Jivan acts as the catalyst for the corruption and downfall of Garghi trapped in a loveless relationship with a neurotic husband and Radha married to the bellicose buffoon Bubu Jivan is the key by which both characters break free from the shackles of their father Devraj Whilst objectively speaking the reader s sympathies should lie with Devraj Tenaja influenced partially by King Lear paints Devraj as a chauvinistic egoist concerned with his pride and money than his daughters propagating a philosophy which is a mix of bigotry misogyny and populism any tragic elements of his downfall are skewered by his selfish characteristics Again although Garghi and Radha are ostensibly the villains of the story Taneja s multi faceted characterisation enables the reader to understand the reasons for their frustrations of being forever trapped in the roles society expects of them as women The other principle characters are Ranjit s soon Jeet who undergoes a ultimately fruitless spiritual epiphany after going through an existential crisis about the emptiness of life and the meaningless of his wealth The heroine of the story and one of the few positive characters is Devraj s youngest daughter Sita whose truculence in refusing to marry sets off the chain of events which takes over the character s lives Beneath this Taneja s India shimmers forth via a blaze of colours and sounds the effervescent sun set on a sultry evening the degradation of the slums the superficiality of the super rich Taneja captures and describes modern Indian with a verve and vivacity which is reminiscent of Salman Rushdie from the corrupt curmudgeons who hold power to the servility of the poor and the weight of Westernization which Indian society is labouring under Taneja is able to capture the complex contradictory and often cruel contractions of a society undergoing constant flux and change and of a family which is driving and leading much of that change a family which like wider Indian society becomes steadily dehumanised with money and power

Preti Taneja ☆ 3 characters

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. We That Are Young has a feel to it that s not dissimilar to Salman Rushdie s recent 2017 novel The Golden House That s praise Both novels ultimately revolve around a big figure a patriarch who is revealed to be rather less worthy of the adulation that his status and visibility might indicate Preti Taneja s Devraj Bapuji to Rushdie s Nero Golden Both books shine a spotlight on an India of the latter 20th century far removed from the deference or degradation depending on your viewpoint of the indigenous population under the British RajIndia the modern nation in Taneja s account is conveyed in its vastness diversity poverty and cruelty It s well written and utterly convincing to this reader who hasn t experienced the country at first handThe division into five sections by character and overlapping timelines works well bringing different perspective to events taking place over a very short time span I found Jeet Rudra in the fictional cityslum of Dhimbala to be the most striking of themThe freuently pitiable lot of women despite the exceptions of the two leading sisters Garghi and Radha is never far from the surface Sharam shame from birthFamilies Dynasties Loyalty Devotion Power Service Poverty Greed BetrayalThe Shakespearean King Lear framework is well worked as the base emotions are given full reinThe author is clear in her description of the book s theme from the very first line it s not about land it s about moneyThis is amplified later on in the book405 we that are young We that are jigging on the brink of ruin we that are washed in the filth of corruption the mirage of new India is bemoanedBoth Galley Beggar Press and the Republic of Consciousness charter We That Are Young is longlisted at the time of writing state that they celebrate hardcore literary fiction and gorgeous prose I think this is a great advert for small presses and though I m not sure I would particularly describe the prose as gorgeous I certainly felt the commitment or hardcore in Preti Taneja s writing

10 thoughts on “We That Are Young

  1. says:

    Now deservedly shortlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize alongside the outstanding shortlist for the 2017 Republic of Consciousness Prize for 'gorgeous prose and hardcore literary fiction' from small independent presses Edgar The weight of this sad time we must obeySpeak what we feel not what we ought to sayThe oldest hath borne most We that are youngShall never see so much nor live so long King Lear Act 5 Scene 3 Postscript to

  2. says:

    NOW DESERVEDLY THE WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE TO FOLLOW ITS SHORTLISING FOR THE REPUBLIC OF CONSCIOUSNESS PRIZE for which I was a judge Galley Beggar Press is a small publisher responsible which aims to produce and support beautiful books and a vibrant eclectic risk taking range of literature and which declares an aim to publish books that are hardcore literary fiction and gorgeous prose – a description whic

  3. says:

    Update 21618 Now the well deserved winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018 Congratulations to Preti Taneja and all at Galley Begga

  4. says:

    We That Are Young has a feel to it that's not dissimilar to Salman Rushdie's recent 2017 novel The Golden House That's praise Both novels ultimately revolve around a big figure a patriarch who is revealed to be rather less worthy of the adulation that his status and visibility might indicate Preti Taneja's Devraj Bapuji to

  5. says:

    This should have been right smack dab in my wheelhouse given my penchant for both Indian lit and Shakespeare it's a moder

  6. says:

    NOW RE READ AFTER ITS INCLUSION ON THE REPUBLIC OF CONSCIOUSNESS PRIZE LONG LISTWe That Are Young is published by Galley Beggar Press Perhaps best known as the publisher that took the risk on A Girl Is a Half formed Thing after everyone else had rejected it it went on to win the Women’s Prize for Fiction Galley Beggar Pr

  7. says:

    A modern day re telling of King Lear 'We Are That Young' is a brilliant exploration of greed corruption and vice in modern India The novel follows the aristocrat cum royal family of Devraj; a patriarch whose puissance dissolves once he cedes ownership of his company to his elder daughters Garghi and Radha only

  8. says:

    I've picked up this book as it received a lot of positive reviews here and has won Desmond Elliot prize for the first novel I have to admit I was somewhat underwhelmed The author models her book on King Lear and sets it in the modern day India In general 2018 was the year of classic retelling by the modern authors in En

  9. says:

    We that are young by Preti Taneja is a fabulous reworking of King Lear Having enjoyed a number of adaptations of this Shakespearean tragedy on stage I was familiar with the direction the arc of the story was likely to take T

  10. says:

    A great book can be great at different levels but a bad one doesn’t have that luxury Mislaid by all the hype and praise