The Thing About Thugs by Tabish Khair

Category: Literary Fiction
Publisher (Indian Subcontinent): HarperCollins Publishers India
Publisher (France): Les Éditions du Sonneur
Publisher (Italy): Nova Delphi Libri
Publisher (USA): Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publisher E-book (World excluding Indian Subcontinent): Constable & Robinson

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 analyze the strange cult of the Indian thug, a group of Englishmen set out to prove the inherent difference between cultures and people by examining their skulls – with bizarre consequences.

A novel set in early Victorian London, teeming with unforgettable characters and full of narrative tension. This is a novel of tragedy and irony as well as humour and hope. 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.