Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
'A terrific debut. Sparkling, very (very) funny, and deeply moving' ARAVIND ADIGA; 'Truly something different, and exhilarating' GARY SHTEYNGART
Set in Boston and Bangalore, Accidental Magic is the story of four very different people whose lives are brought together by Harry Potter. For Kannan, Curtis, Rebecca and Malathi, social outsiders and people adrift, the intense and diverse world of Harry Potter fandom offers community, even a sense of meaning. An extraordinary novel about how flawed relationships can be; how we battle loneliness, live on hope and search for that perfect connection-often settling for imperfection-it is also about the tension between duty and the individual pursuit of happiness. Accidental Magic is a work of great imagination and marks the arrival of an exciting and powerful new voice.
Born in Delhi and raised in Bangalore, Keshava Guha studied history and politics from Harvard, and writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. He writes regularly on politics, literature and sport for a host of publications.
Accidental Magic confirms that Keshava is a fine, formidable writer, one of the most inventive I have read in recent years.
– Diya Kar, publisher
Accidental Magic is an impressive and imaginative debut.
– The Wire
THERE ARE TWO kinds of intellectuals in this world: those who admit—joyfully, proudly—to have read JK Rowling’s boy wizard series, and count it amongst the literature that has shaped them; then there are those who insist, despite the zeitgeist, that to read Harry Potter is beneath them, and who discount the impact those books have had on the world. Being the former, I have met the latter, and always felt slightly sorry for them, but then we can never explain what we like and what we don’t.
– Open Magazine
Accidental Magic is, in fact, a very real story of interpersonal relationships and its oddities, often using humour to put forth some very difficult truths. Guha’s characters are highly nuanced, complete with quirks and biases of their own and one must credit his convincing characterisation for taking a strong dislike to a couple of them based on these same biases.