The Bus Stopped by Tabish Khair

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A very angry bus driver, abandoned by his wife and going nowhere in his career; a sanctimonious conductor; a hijra, or eunuch, a remnant of India's Muslim glory days; a nervous, half-Indian businessman clutching a briefcase-full of cash; a right-wing Hindu matriarch; a young boy returning to his village after robbing his employer . . . They meet – and witness a tragic event – only because they are all travelling on the same bus, in the same direction, on the same day. With exceptional poise and beguiling simplicity, Khair introduces a range of voices, thoughts, ideas and identities, allowing each individual’s story to unfold gradually. ‘A novel that reflects deeply into the nature and circumstances of human mobility in our modern, unforgiving world’ Siddhartha Deb, Outlook ‘There is much to enjoy here . . . The twist at the end is hilarious. Khair’s talent is as a miniaturist’ Fiona Hook, The Times ‘It’s a fine work: short, sweet and brutal’ James Smart, Sunday Herald ‘A lyrical journey through small-town India’ Independent ‘[The Bus Stopped] allows stories to emerge with immediacy and leisure, with abrupt shafts of humour’ Guardian

About Tabish Khair

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Tabish Khair was born in India in 1966. He currently lives in Denmark where he works for the Department of English at the University of Aarhus as an associate professor. He has written widely for papers and literary magazines in India, the UK, America, Denmark and South Africa, and has won numerous awards for his poetry.
Published July 12, 2012 by Picador. 200 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Tension is ratcheted up by an argument between Mangal Singh and the bus conductor (the two are complicit in a scam to augment their paltry wages) about a tribal woman, carrying a child, who has boarded the vehicle.

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India Today

The device is interesting, it gives the reader a very visual and tactile sense of journey, a very Indian journey, as the bus rambles through Bihar roads, rumbling and lurching into sudden stops.

Apr 19 2004 | Read Full Review of The Bus Stopped

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