The Assassin's Song, By MG Vassanji

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The Independent Culture

It is the bloody aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots when Karsan Dargawalla, the reluctant heir to the shrine of a medieval sufi, sits down in the postmaster flat in Shimla to unravel his story, liltingly, to the reader ("Forgive me if I must sing to you").

What follows is a masterfully woven tale of Karsan's journey to escape his destiny as the keeper of the Sufi shrine to which he is finally drawn back: Vassanji tells a supremely poetic story of 13th century sufi-mysticism, snake-swallowing magic and Hindu-Muslim schisms to make post-colonial writing exquisitely, tragically new.