Author: Raj Kamal Jha
Publisher: Picador India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0330493760
February 2002, A helpless nation watches as the city of Ahmedabad in India is rocked by religious violence. Before sunrise the next day, more than a hundred Muslim men, women and children will be killed, most of them burnt alive. Above the smoke and flames, the dead decide to intervene.
So begins Fireproof, Raj Kamal Jha’s mesmerizing new novel, in which the murdered whisper from footnotes and photographs. At the heart of the novel is its narrator Jay – a man who carries with him an unspeakable secret and a newborn baby – and a mystery woman, who writes with her fingers on glass, drawing man and child out of their home and on a journey across the burning city.
From the author of The Blue Bedspread and If You Are Afraid of Heights, comes a work of fiction that challenges the way we look at the most twisted events of our times. Evoking both terror and tenderness, Fireproof is a compelling testimony to the ordinary nature of collective evil, and to the extraordinary power of individual conscience.
I looked at the window again. The words had begun to fade as the room inside must have got colder. All I could see now was EPME, the E of the ME disappearing, and as I focused on the remaining letters, there was the blur of a movement inside, I saw a form pass by the window, a hand reach out to wipe the glass clean, draw the curtains closed, I saw the lights switch off, turning the window into a rectangle of darkness.