On November 1st 1984, a day after the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a nineteen-year-old student travels back from a class trip with his mentor and chemistry teacher, Professor Singh. As the group disembark at Delhi station a mob surrounds the professor, douses him in petrol and sets him alight. Years later the student, Raj, is compelled to find his professor's widow, the beautiful Nelly. As the two walk through the misty mountains of Shimla, Nelly comes up against a nation in denial and Raj faces the truth about his father's role in the terrible pogrom against the Sikhs.
Jaspreet Singh's follow up to Chef wrestles with one of the most shocking moments in the history of the Indian nation
A compelling insight into the cruel and complex world of India's recent internecine struggles . A wonderfully well-woven tale that shines a light on fascinating and appalling events Michael Palin, Observer Books of the Year This is a beautifully written exploration of fathers and sons . Terrific Kate Saunders, The Times This ambitious second novel is . bold and courageous . [A] disturbing, heartfelt work Eileen Battersby, Irish Times A powerful meditation on historic forgetting Financial Times Singh's prose is capable of moments of great power . Thought-provoking Independent on Sunday The influence of Primo Levi and WG Sebald is strong in this richly intertextual novel . Singh's background as a scientist is apparent in the beautifully deployed scientific imagery: the past is like "drops of helium" that "refuse to disappear" Observer
Born in India, Jaspreet Singh moved to Canada in 1990. He is a novelist, essayist, short story writer and a former research scientist. He received his doctorate in chemical engineering in 1998 from McGill University, Montreal, and two years later decided to focus full time on writing. Seventeen Tomatoes, his debut story collection, won the 2004 Quebec First Book Prize. Chef, his first novel, about the damaged landscapes of Kashmir, was a 2010 Observer 'Book of the Year' and won the Canadian Georges Bugnet Prize for Fiction. He has also been a finalist for four awards including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book. His work was longlisted for DSC Prize for South Asia Literature and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Punjabi and Farsi. He lives in the Canadian Rockies. http://www.jaspreetsinghauthor.com/