Riot by Shashi Tharoor
A Love Story

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Who killed twenty-four-year-old Priscilla Hart? And why would anyone want to murder this highly motivated, idealistic American student who had come to India to volunteer in women’s health programs? Had her work make a killer out of an enraged husband? Or was her death the result of a xenophobic attack? Was she involved in an indiscriminate love affair that had spun out of control? Had a disgruntled, deeply jealous colleague been pushed to the edge? Or was she simply the innocent victim of a riot that had exploded in that fateful year of 1989 between Hindus and Muslims?

In his long-awaited new novel, Shashi Tharoor, the acclaimed author of The Great Indian Noveland Show Business,whom the Independent(London) called "one of the finest novelists writing in English today," once again triumphs. Experimenting masterfully with narrative form, he chronicles the mystery of Priscilla Hart’s death through the often contradictory accounts of a dozen or more characters, all of whom relate their own versions of the events surrounding her killing. Like his two previous novels, Riotprobes and reveals the richness of India, and is at once about love, hate, cultural collision, the ownership of history, religious fanaticism, and the impossibility of knowing the truth.

In plot, style, and characterization, Shashi Tharoor’s latest novel is a brilliant tour de force.


About Shashi Tharoor

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Tharoor was born in London and brought up in Bombay and Calcutta. A winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, he is the interim head of the Department of Public Information of the United States.
Published September 10, 2001 by Arcade Publishing. 272 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Tharoor (Show Business, 1992, etc.) makes an anguished plea for religious tolerance, in a story about the 1989 murder of a young American during a sectarian riot in northern India.

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The New York Times

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Forster's novel ''A Passage to India.'' Like Forster's heroine, Adela Quested, Tharoor's Priscilla is a kind of symbol of the range of Western responses to India: desire, revulsion, fear, romanticism and proselytizing zeal.

Nov 25 2001 | Read Full Review of Riot: A Love Story

Publishers Weekly

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Lakshman, the graduate of a highly selective Indian college, St. Stephens, has a penchant for Wilde, but he is bound to Indian tradition, and listens when his friend, police chief and fellow St. Stephens alumnus Gurinder Singh, emphasizes that, in Indian eyes, Priscilla is incurably promiscuous.

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