Author(s): Anjum Hasan
Qayenaat is a middle-aged editor and critic who hovers at the edge of the Bangalore art scene. Her old friend and former protege, Baban Reddy, has become a hugely successful artist on the international stage and his return to Bangalore brings back memories and experiences Qayenaat had carefully repressed. In a swirl of heightened emotion, Qayenaat commits an unforgivable crime and flees to rural India in the hope of avoiding its repercussions. There she forms a relationship with the unlikeliest of men - the local monarch whose palace, like the region, has fallen into disrepair. Asking questions about art, love, class and the responsibilities of the bourgeoisie, The Cosmopolitans is a rich and engaging novel, by turns tender and satirical. Hasan has a fine voice and an impeccable sense of irony that, coupled with perfect comic timing, makes this an entertaining and highly sophisticated novel.