Delhi Noir

Harper Collins

The award-winning noir series published in New York comes to India with its first collection stories in Delhi. Fourteen writers, young and established, male and female, gay and straight, use the devices of crime fiction and film noir to provide gripping, incisive and alternative perspectives on this city where people wake up to news stories every day about rape and murder, incest and corruption, mindless road rage and sudden political flare-ups. What they uncover is a chilling, often sordid and sometimes sensuous layer of life that surprises, shocks and amuses at the same time Allan Sealy, Omair Ahmed, Radhika Jha, Hartosh Singh Bal, Siddharth Chowdhury, Ruchir Joshi, Meera Nair, Nalinaksha Bhattacharya, Mohan Sikka, Palash Krishna Mehrotra, Tabish Khair, Uday Prakash, Manjula Padmanabhan and Hirsh Sawhney
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About the author

HIRSH SAWHNEY's debut novel, South Haven, will be published by Akashic Books in 2016. He is the editor of Delhi Noir, a critically acclaimed anthology of original fiction published by Akashic and HarperIndia, and a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. His work has appeared in numerous other periodicals, including the New York Times Book Review, the Financial Times, and Outlook. Joyce Carol Oates selected his short story "A Bag For Nicholas" for her New Jersey Noir anthology. Hirsh is an advisory editor at Wasafiri, a journal of post-colonial literature based out of the UK's Open University. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Sep 25, 2009
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Pages
292
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ISBN
9789350294574
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Reading information

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"A vivid portrait of second-generation immigrants living in suburban New England...Sawhney is pitch-perfect when describing the uneasy relationship between adolescents and their parents...There is much emotional truth in the author's sensitive portrayal of the despair and rage that can simmer away throughout adolescence...Hirsh Sawhney's quietly devastating conclusion is both unexpected and deeply moving."
--Times Literary Supplement

"[T]his luminous debut...captures precisely the heartache of growing up."
--Library Journal, Top Spring Indie Fiction

"Sawhney's debut novel, a coming-of-age tale mixing grief, violence, and extremism, follows the life of Indian-American teen Siddharth Arora as he deals with the death of his mother, political tensions at home, and attempts to fit in amongst the bored and troubled youth of his Connecticut suburb...With shifting teen angst colliding with his new, upturned reality, Sid becomes aware of his failings and mistakes as he discovers what it means to be loyal to the ones you love. This is a fantastic debut about growing up as an outsider in a divisive environment."
--Publishers Weekly

"Sawhney weaves together his own plot, with heartbreaking difficulties about confronting the complexity of identities, with nationally and locally important issues like Islamophobia, all painted on a southern Connecticut backdrop."
--Connecticut Magazine

"In his debut novel, South Haven, writer Hirsh Sawhney chose his native New Haven and suburbs as backdrop for this part tale of mourning, part coming-of-age story...Sawhney skillfully captures Siddharth's readjustment to a life without his mother. Much of this readjustment centers around the different and complex relationships Siddharth forms with the handful of friends he makes following his mother's death, his college-bound brother, the 'new woman' in his Dad's life, and with his larger-than-life father, a radically opinionated academic who is caught between what it means to be American and the culture he's left behind."
--New Haven Magazine

"A powerful story...a universal look at the complexity of how people wrestle with guilt and blame amid tragic loss."
--New Haven Independent

"[A] sensitive, poignant, resonating novel."
--Bookslut

"A raw portrait of a motherless family...poetic...[Sawhney's] characters are distinctive: They open up differently, more ominously, than American fiction's best-known South Asians of the Northeast--Jhumpa Lahiri's...[and] exhibit an outsider-ness without glamour."
--The Village Voice

"An unforgettable and unnerving tale of grief and migration."
--Largehearted Boy

Siddharth Arora lives an ordinary life in the New England suburb of South Haven, but his childhood comes to a grinding halt when his mother dies in a car accident. Siddharth soon gravitates toward a group of adolescent bullies, drinking and smoking instead of drawing and swimming. He takes great pains to care for his depressive father, Mohan Lal, an immigrant who finds solace in the hateful Hindu fundamentalism of his homeland and cheers on Indian fanatics who murder innocent Muslims. When a new woman enters their lives, Siddharth and his father have a chance at a fresh start. They form a new family, hoping to leave their pain behind them.

South Haven is no simple coming-of-age tale or hero's journey, blurring the line between victim and victimizer and asking readers to contend with the lies we tell ourselves as we grieve and survive. Following in the tradition of narratives by Edwidge Danticat and Junot Díaz, Sawhney draws upon the measured lyricism of postcolonial writers like Michael Ondaatje but brings to his subjects distinctly American irreverence and humor.



“Delhi Noir has no lack of true-to-life characters getting twisted, mangled and discarded. Which is why, like the proverbial train wreck, even as you cringe, you won’t be able to look away.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“This book is a chance to get a fix on some of India’s best crime writers, most of whom are totally unknown in North America. Like the rest of this superb series (Brooklyn Noir, L.A. Noir, Toronto Noir, etc.), we are introduced to the city by stories set in locations iconic to the city. In the case of Delhi, that means we go to come very dark spots indeed.”—Globe & Mail

Brand new stories by: Irwin Allan Sealy, Omair Ahmad, Radhika Jha, Ruchir Joshi, Nalinaksha Bhattacharya, Meera Nair, Siddharth Chowdhury, Mohan Sikka, Palash K. Mehrotra, Hartosh Singh Bal, Hirsh Sawhney, Tabish Khair, Uday Prakash, and Manjula Padmanabhan.

The eyes of the world are gazing at India—the world’s largest democracy. But the books you read about this Asian giant only show part of the picture.

Delhi Noir’s fourteen original stories are written by the best Indian writers alive today—the ones you haven’t yet heard of but should have. They are veteran authors who have appeared on the Booker Prize short list and budding geniuses who your grandchildren will read about in English class. Delhi Noir is a world of sex in parks, male prostitution, and vigilante rickshaw drivers. It is one plagued by religious riots, soulless corporate dons, and murderous servants. This is India uncut, the one you’re missing out on because mainstream publishing houses and glossy magazines can’t stomach it. offers bone-chilling, mesmerizing takes on the country’s chaotic capital, a city where opulence and poverty are constantly clashing, where old-world values and the information age wage a constant battle.

Editor Hirsh Sawhney has written for the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, Time Out New York, Outlook, and the Indian Express. He splits his time between Delhi and Brooklyn.
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