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Published on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 11:49 Hrs
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Aatish Taseer, the son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and Pakistani politician and businessman late Salmaan Taseer. Having descended from an Indian mother and a Pakistani father, his recent novel, Noon has some prominent autobiographical elements. Besides the similarity between Taseer and the protagonist, Rehan Tabassum parental descent from India and Pakistan another striking autobiographical element being Rehan's father being a powerful shadow in Pakistan as Taseer's father was.

 

Besides the autobiographical elements, we wonder what is Noon all about? The novel is a primarily the story of Rehan Tabassum. As mentioned earlier our protagonist, like our author is born of an Indian mother and a Pakistani father. We see how Rehan had spent his childhood with his mother yet his heart is torn between two cultures, where he yearns for both his parents together not either one as life had designated it for him. The life that Rehan's mother and his step father are to offer him is not as he seeks to lead it. He is young, driven and in search of a life that he can make  out of life not the life his fate has carved out for him. In amidst of all the situations Rehan makes a choice of setting out on a journey across the borders to discover new horizons.

 

The fact that Rehan's life has so been troubled is not his fault but that of his fate to be born in a family that he was. He descends from a family which is utterly messed up, a family where people are often found to be scheming against each other, where people are prone to falling in love with servants. The Tabassums are quite well-known in Pakistan, yet for the very wrong reasons. They are known to be cruel, blundering, and medieval minded clan. They own a  telecommunications empire in Pakistan.

 

Taseer's novel, Noon is a brilliant piece of work from a very talented young novelist. Having carved the novel in reflection of his life, the similarities are grossly segregated to having a childhood in Delhi to American education, the writerly ambitions and frustration with Islam, an estranged Pakistani Muslim father, accomplished Indian Sikh mother, a background of political violence. These are some of the factors with which our novelist is well related to. Taseer's incorporation of his personal experiences and his stark portrayal of the emergent India and the contemporary Pakistan helps strike the note of brilliance in his novel.

 

Without being much of a spoiler by divulging further into the novel, Oxford Bookstore recommends Aatish Taseer's Noon well. In a scale of 5 stars, Noon gets 3.5  stars.  Aatish Taseer's Noon is an unconventional, enlightening and entertaining read.

 

 

Author Profile  
Aatish Taseer

Aatish Taseer has worked as a reporter for Time Magazine and has written for the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph, the Financial Times, Prospect, TAR Magazine and Esquire.

He is the author of Stranger to History: a Son's Journey through Islamic Lands (2009) and a highly acclaimed translation Manto: Selected Stories (2008).

His novel, The Temple-Goers (2010) was shortlisted for the 2010 Costa First Novel Award. His recent novel, Noon, is now available published by Picador (UK) and Faber & Faber (USA). His work has been translated into over ten languages. He lives between London and Delhi.

 

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Reviewed by Sutanuka Sarkar Graphic Design by Surajit Banik Web Designed by Subhadip Mukherjee

 


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