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A History of Burning

A History of Burning

The perfect summer read for fans of Half of a Yellow Sun, Homegoing and Pachinko




'Remarkable, haunting, symphonic' New York Times

Tricked aboard a boat to East Africa, Pirbhai is only thirteen when he is forced by the British into labouring on the railway. Under sweltering heat, hungry and frightened, he commits a terrible act just to survive.

He will never tell a soul, even when he meets Sonal, a fierce, loving woman with whom he starts a family in hope of a better life. But their granddaughters come of age in a divided nation. Latika falls headlong into the student protest movement, Mayuri's ambitions take her far from home, while Kiya's friendship with a Black Ugandan boy threatens them both.

Finally forced to flee, the family scatters across the world. They take with them a favourite rolling pin, a handful of photos, and a secret - that one day, will help them find each other again.

'Vast and intricate, alight with love and contained fury' Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning


  • A remarkable debut . . . skillfully interrogates sweeping themes of survival, inheritance, immigration, colonialism and racism . . . Oza's narrative traverses almost a century of time, four generations of family, five continents and multiple languages . . . The result is a haunting, symphonic tale that speaks to the nuanced complexities of class and trauma
    S Kirk Walsh, New York Times

About the author

Janika Oza

Janika Oza is the winner of the 2022 O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction, and the 2020 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications including The Best Small Fictions: 2019 Anthology and Catapult. She lives in Toronto.

Twitter: @JanikaOza
Instagram: @o.janika
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