Nominated | Book Awards 2019 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
Bored witless in her south Delhi cocoon, the beautiful Ania Khurana seeks excitement. Whether tinkering with her novel-in-progress or setting up her single aunt and close friends with suitable men, she undertakes her projects with a passionate focus. Art fairs, literary residencies, a weekend at a cricketer-turned-politician's country retreat and, of course, dozens of glittering parties-Ania applies her exceptional industry to them all. But her privilege cannot mask the darkness and vulnerability at the heart of her ornate world-nor does it enable her to influence the dazzling, deadly men and women who appear in it.
Keenly observed, sharply plotted and full of wit and brio, Polite Society reimagines Jane Austen's Emma in contemporary Delhi to portray a society whose polished surface often reveals far more than is intended.
Mahesh Rao is the author of the award-winning novel The Smoke Is Rising and a book of short stories One Point Two Billion, both published in the UK to wonderful reviews. He was born and brought up in Nairobi, has worked in the UK as a lawyer, researcher and bookseller, and currently lives most of the year in India. Polite Society is his American debut.