Author: Tabish Khair
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788172239787
Amir Ali leaves his village in Bihar to travel to London with an English captain, William Meadows, to whom he narrates the story of his life – the story of a murderous thug.
While Meadows tries to analyse the strange cult of the Indian Thug, a group of Englishmen sets out to prove the inherent difference between cultures and people by examining their skulls – with bizarre consequences.
Set in Victorian London, this story of different voices from different places draws intricate lines of connection from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, between England and India, across individual and cultural differences.
Known for his refusal to fit his work into established ‘diasporic’, subalternist or post-colonialist narrative traditions, in The Thing About Thugs, Khair finally engages with these traditions by subtly and ironically deploying echoes from Victorian literature, ranging from Charles Dickens to P.M. Taylor’s Confessions of a Thug and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
'Khair's skill lies in making us question our assumptions about what we do and why we do it.'
– New Statesman
Formally and intellectually intrepid, and emotionally resonant, Tabish Khair's novels are some of the most exciting to have come out of the Indian subcontinent.'
--- Pankaj Mishra