Winner of the AK Singh Memorial Award for Best Fiction.
Shortlisted for the Atta-Galatta Bangalore Literature Festival Prize.
Shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award.
Shortlisted for the REC-VOW Book Awards.
Longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
Pragmatic entrepreneur Anil Mehrotra has set up his thriving business empire with the help of his lieutenant, Ahmed, an older man who is different in more ways than one. Quiet and undemanding, Ahmed talks in aphorisms, bothers no one, and always gets the job done. But when one stormy night, Mehrotra discovers an aspect to Ahmed that defies all reason, he is forced to find out more about his trusted aide.
As layers and layers of Ahmed’s history are peeled off, Mehrotra finds himself confronting some deeply unsettling questions. Does Ahmed really have a wife? Does he keep her imprisoned in their flat? Is Ahmed deranged, or is he just making desperate sense of the horrors that afflicted him in the past?
By turns poetic, chilling and heartbreaking, Night of Happiness is an unforgettable novel set in a world without tolerance.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
THE HINDU commends NIGHT OF HAPPINESS as “a metafictional novel that wears its self-consciousness lightly, at no narrative cost.” Link: https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/review-of-tabish-khairs-night-of-happiness-in-the-house-of-inversions/article23867282.ece
“Tabish Khair’s latest novel is a deep dive into the seemingly quiet, mundane lives marked by the horrific violence of the Godhra riots,” says Nabina Das in BUSINESS LINE. Link: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blink/read/when-absence-is-a-measure-of-happiness/article23924526.ece
In SCROLL.IN, Annie Zaidi commends Khair for writing grippingly about the contemporary Muslim realities of India: https://scroll.in/article/880258/this-novel-reveals-things-about-contemporary-india-that-cannot-be-proved-or-we-prefer-not-to-see
A psychological thriller that takes a chilling look at trauma, says LIVE MINT: https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/Mchf4UikTOfQo27YFOBC4I/Tabish-Khairs-new-novel-takes-a-chilling-look-at-trauma-and.html
“Unputdownable. Read it!’ – Jaya’s Blog. Link: http://www.jayabhattacharjirose.com/tabish-khairs-night-of-happiness/
“A serving of distilled wisdom,” says Mandira Nayar in THE WEEK: https://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2018/06/22/night-of-happiness-serving-of-distilled-wisdom-tabish-khair.html
“A taut navigation of faith and the shrinking space for dialogues in India today,” proclaims the INDIAN EXPRESS: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/books/the-man-in-the-mirror-night-of-happiness-book-review-tabish-khair-5239332/
“Riveting,” states DECCAN HERALD: https://www.deccanherald.com/sunday-herald/sunday-herald-books/beneath-layers-678047.html
“A novel of quiet intensity,” notes OPEN MAGAZINE: http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/books/the-islamic-factor
“Deft handling of the uncanny… timely relevance,” says THE TELEGRAPH: https://www.telegraphindia.com/opinion/the-strangeness-of-the-familiar-254146
Saikat Majumdar on current writing and NIGHT OF HAPPINESS: https://scroll.in/article/881599/is-the-modern-world-too-close-for-comfort-to-write-about-two-recent-books-show-how-it-is-being-done
And THE HINDUSTAN TIMES recommends it too: https://www.hindustantimes.com/books/review-night-of-happiness-by-tabish-khair/story-1O3P771Pp1ZOxFmVOAAbVJ.html