Writers Who Read #27

3 January 2021

A Burning
by Megha Majumdar

Author/Publisher Intent

Stylistic Choices

Structure, Pacing

Climax - what changed?

Scene sleuthing

A Burning - Megha Majumdar

  • Marketing: Terrorism Thrillers, Political Fiction, Political Thrillers
  • Genre: Realistic Present-Day Arch-Plot Long-Form
  • Word count: 61,947
  • Print Pages: 304
  • Reading Level: 7th Grade

  • POV: Jivan, Lovely, PT Sir, chorus
  • Tense: Mostly present
  • Person: Jivan, Lovely: 1st; PT Sir: 3rd;
    interludes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

  • Publish date: June 2, 2020
  • Publisher / Sold By: Knopf
  • Audio book narration: Vikas Adam, Priya Ayyar, Deepti Gupta, Soneela Nankani, Neil Shah, Ulka Mohanty

  • Recognition: 2020 NYT Notable Book, Today Show #ReadWithJenna book club pick
    Shortlisted: Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction
  • Megha Majumdar

  • Born: Kolkata, India, 1987
  • Harvard: BA, Social Anthropology
  • Johns Hopkins: MA, Anthropology
  • Editor: Catapult Books / Magazine

  • A Burning: 1st novel
  • - 4 years to write; 15-45 mins / day
  • - Wrote 3 separate arcs, then combined

  • "I really like when a character is able to hold contradictions."

  • "Who gets to star in their own story?"

“A challenge that I set myself was: I wanted to write a book that would be intellectually serious and say something about living during this time of extremism, but also a book that would be entertaining. I think that it takes real craft and skill to entertain someone.”
     - Megha Majumdar

Sentiment / Timeline

Around the Table

Please use passages from the book

Writers Who Read: Coming Up

February 7: Red Pill - Hari Kunzru (England, 2020)
March 7: Interior Chinatown - Charles Yu (USA, 2020)
April 4: Apeirogon - Colum McCann (Ireland, 2020)
May 2: The Lying Life of Adults - Elena Ferrante
(Italy, trans. 2020 by Ann Goldstein)

Thanks to: Boulder Writers Alliance

Contact Gary: hello@garyalanmcbride.com
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