x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Noon: Born at the crossroads of two worlds, a son searches for answers

Restless for news of the father he has never known, a young writer finds himself on a journey to a seaside town that is home to his reckless half-brother in this compelling novel by Aatish Taseer.

With his debut novel The Temple-Goers previously shortlisted for the 2010 Costa First Novel award, Aatish Taseer has already been dubbed "a young writer to watch" by the acclaimed V S Naipaul. While The Temple-Goers chronicled a contemporary India riddled with politics and treachery, Noon deals a hand closer to home for Taseer.

Like the author, Taseer's protagonist, Rehan Tabassum, is the illegitimate offspring of a wealthy Pakistani industrialist. As a child, he spends most of his time in limbo between the custom-bound world whose values his maternal grandmother attempts to install in him and the tarnished glamour of the life his mother seeks for herself through a liaison with lavish businessman Amit Sethia.

Growing up to become a writer, restless for news of the father he has never known, Rehan finds himself on a journey to La Mirage, a seaside town that is home to his reckless half-brother Isphandiya.

In the end, Noon is not so much a novel on finding your roots as it is on making sense of them. Grounded in familiar territory, Taseer's experience shines in his narration, rendering Rehan's story in a compelling light.