Recorded Oct 4, 2011 at 192 Books in New York, Siddhartha Deb, author of The Beautiful and the Damned, and Aatish Taseer, author of Noon, gather for a reading and discussion moderated by GRANTA editor, John Freeman. The launching point of the discussion is the rapidly changing landscapes of Pakistan and India.
The Beautiful and the Damned examines India’s many contradictions through various individual and extraordinary perspectives including a Gatsby-like mogul in Delhi whose hobby is producing big-budget gangster films that no one sees; a wiry, dusty farmer named Gopeti whose village is plagued by suicides; and a sad-eyed waitress named Esther who has set aside her dual degrees in biochemistry and botany to serve Coca-Cola to arms dealers at an upscale hotel called Shangri La.
Noon follows Rehan Tabassum’s attempts to negotiate between his world of privilege and the absence of his real father, a Pakistani Muslim
who owns a telecommunications empire in Pakistan. As Rehan journeys, both physically and emotionally, toward the heart of his father’s
world, he travels from the atavistic scenes of a childhood in Delhi to the city’s boom and bust.