Ice-Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa
brand new paperback
As the British eke out the final days of their rule of India, the threat of Partition gathers and sectarian violence escalates, spreading across the nation and inching ever closer to the affluent fringes of Lahore.
Lahore is where eight-year-old Lenny lives. Crippled by polio but inquisitive and spirited, Lenny spends her days in the park with her beautiful Ayah, enjoying the company of the plethora of suitors drawn to her striking nanny. There’s the Sikh zoo-keeper, the Masseur, the Pathan, strong Imman Din, and Ice-Candy Man, peddling popsicles along with political unrest through the streets.
But Lenny’s world is upended as riots break out and the once harmonious people of Lahore turn against one another. Amidst the chaos, her beloved Ayah is abducted. Lenny’s innocence, exuberant humour, and heart-wrenching perspicacity leads us through these momentous events, revealing the irrationality of adult behaviour as the fragile unity of a nation teeters on the cusp of historic change.
‘Bapsi Sidhwa’s voice, comic, serious, subtle, always sprightly, is an important one to hear. I’m delighted to see her terrific novels back in print.’ – Salman Rushide
‘A ground-breaking writer, whose works have lost none of their freshness, humour or heart.’ – Kamila Shamsie
‘A novel in which heartbreak coexists with slapstick and jokes give way to lines of glowing beauty. Confirms Sidhwa’s reputation as Pakistan’s finest English language novelist.’ – New York Times Book Review
‘Compulsively readable.’ – Observer
‘A fluent, fast moving narrative of wit and wisdom.’ – Irish Times
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