In a digitized city, sometime in the near future, as an obsession with purity escalates, walls come up dividing and confining communities. Behind the walls high civic order prevails. In the forgotten spaces between, where garbage gathers and disease festers, Shalini must search for Leila, the daughter she lost one tragic summer sixteen years ago. Skirting surveillance systems and thuggish Repeaters, Shalini—once wealthy, with perhaps a wayward past; now a misfit, pushed to the margins—is propelled only by her search. What follows is a story of longing, faith, and most of all, loss. With its unflinching gaze on class, privilege, and the choices that today confront us—and its startling, almost prophetic vision of the world—Leila announces Prayaag Akbar as a remarkable new voice in Indian fiction.
Prayaag Akbar is a writer and journalist. A former deputy editor of Scroll, his award-winning reporting and commentary have examined various aspects of marginalization in India. He studied at Dartmouth College and the London School of Economics. He lives in Mumbai with his wife and their cat.
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