Helium

Helium

A Novel

Book - 2013
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Longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

On 1 November 1984, a day after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, a nineteen-year-old student, Raj, travels back from a class trip with his mentor, Professor Singh. As the group disembark at Delhi station a mob surrounds the professor, throws a tire over him, douses him in gasoline, and sets him alight.
Years later, after moving to the United States, Raj finds himself compelled to return to India to find his professor's widow, the beautiful and enigmatic Nelly. As the two walk through the misty mountains of Shimla, painful memories emerge, and Raj realizes he must face the truth about his father's role in a genocidal pogrom. But, as they soon discover, the path leads inexorably back to that day at the train station.
In this lyrical and haunting exploration of one of the most shocking moments in the history of the Indian nation, Jaspreet Singh has crafted an affecting and important story of memory, collective silences and personal trauma.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2013, ♭2013
ISBN: 9781608199563
Branch Call Number: SING
Characteristics: 290 pages

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uncommonreader
Feb 15, 2014

This is a novel about the unresolved past of the massacre of Sikhs in India in 1984 following the assassination of Ghandi. The author, himself a research scientist, uses scientific metaphors and images throughout to tell his winding story about the effect of the political on the personal. Recommended.

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