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Fear of Lions

Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)

Fear of Lions

Full Title: Fear of Lions

Author: Amita Kanekar
Publisher: Hachette India

Award Category: Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
About the Book: 

On a hot April morning in 1673, two young Mughal nobles, Shamsher and his sister Zeenat, leave Shahjahanabad for a trip down the royal highway to the market town of Narnaul. The reluctant Shamsher is on a secret mission for his father; an excited Zeenat on one of her own.

Their journey takes them through the shattered landscape of a recently crushed uprising - one different from those the Mughal Empire frequently spawned, of petty warlords fired by dreams of kingship. This revolt was rumoured to have been inspired by Kabir and led by a witch; her militant followers, many of them women and all of them rabble, called themselves 'Followers of Truth'. The rebels were defeated, but the questions remained: Where had they come from and what did they want? Had Kabir, the revered saint-poet of Banaras, really incited violence? Why couldn't the inclusiveness fostered by Emperor Akbar hold the realm together? What role did the firangis have to play? Or was it all simply because of the bigot on the throne?

Set twelve years into the rule of the austere Aurangzeb Alamgir, in a time of impossible wealth and unbearable want, of brilliant architectural extravaganzas amidst ancient traditions of squalor, and of a caste society on the threshold of capitalism, Amita Kanekar's powerful and intricately woven novel tells the story of an unlikely rebellion that almost brought imperial Dilli to its knees.

About the Author: 

Amita Kanekar is the author of A Spoke in the Wheel. She writes on history, politics and architecture. This is her second novel.


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