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InstaReview: A Burning by Megha Majumdar

"Many years ago I would have been asking why is this happening? But now I am knowing that there is no use asking these questions. In life, many things are happening for no reason at all."

A Burning follows the interwoven stories of Jivan, PT Sir, and Lovely, whose story arcs collide like a slow-moving trainwreck. After making a throwaway comment on social media, Jivan becomes a convenient scapegoat for a rising far-right movement and is accused of plotting a recent terrorist attack. She finds herself railroaded by the media and the criminal legal system and, although it's set in India, there's clear parallels to the systems of oppression in the United States. It's a powerful story that's painful to bear witness to at times, and the seeming message that persons experiencing oppression will tear each other down to move forward left us feeling a bit hopeless. Still, it's written in an interesting style and we enjoyed the insight into Indian culture and politics, so it's 4 stars from us.


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