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The Machine Is Learning

Longlisted | Book Awards 2021 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)

The Machine Is Learning

Author: Tanuj Solanki
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

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

‘Drawing on the years he has spent in the strange world of insurance, Tanuj Solanki writes one of those rare novels which deals with the world of work, where his protagonist circles India, terminating unwanted employees and flushing his cufflinks down the toilet in an airport loo. A keenly observed and nuanced portrait of the working life, this novel tells you what it must be like to be part of the Tinder generation’ JERRY PINTO, author of Em and the Big Hoom and Murder in Mahim

Saransh works at a life insurance company, as part of the Special Projects Group (SPG). Their current project is top-secret: the development of an Artificial Intelligence system that will leave 552 branch-level employees redundant overnight. Because of site-specific customizations, however, the system needs to collect information from the company’s various branches. Thus begins a cycle in which Saransh travels across the country, interviewing the very people that his machine will replace soon. Meanwhile, his conscientious ex-journalist girlfriend Jyoti repeatedly questions Saransh’s complicity in the impending destruction of hundreds of lives.

The Machine is Learning is a novel about twenty-first-century workplaces, love and the impact of technology in all of our lives. It interrogates a world order that accommodates guilt but offers no truly ethical course correction.

About the Author: 

Tanuj Solanki's first novel, Neon Noon, was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award. In 2019, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for his second book, Diwali in Muzaffarnagar. Solanki's short fiction has been published in the Caravan, Hindu Business Line, DNA, Out of Print, and several other publications. He lives in Gurugram with his wife.

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