The Men in White
Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2018.
PS8617 .R36 M46, 2018
Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)
Eighteen-year-old Hasan Siddiqui lives in a bustling Muslim quarter of Bombay. He escapes the drudgery of his work at a chicken slaughterhouse by fostering two fervent dreams — to become a star in cricket, a sport at which he happens to excel, and to win the affections of Haseena, a fiercely intelligent young woman two years his junior. When it comes to her, however, he is not so proficient, and Hasan’s close-to-nonexistent prospects — along with the rather unfortunate setting of their budding romance, Baba’s Chicken Centre — make advancing either cause look impossible.
Half a world away in Vancouver, Hasan’s older brother, Abdul, has been working under the table at an Indian restaurant, attempting to set down roots with the hope of one day reuniting with his brother. For Abdul the immigrant dream shows little sign of materializing, but he finds solace in his amateur cricket team. When he and the team’s captain decide to take action to end their losing streak, they talk of recruiting the talented Hasan for the rest of the season. But bringing Hasan from India to Canada will take much more than just a plane ticket, and rising tensions demonstrate that not all members of the team agree with the high cost.
Alternating between Bombay and Vancouver and exploring urgent themes surrounding the complexities of the modern immigrant experience, Islamophobia, and racial violence, The Men in White is by turns disarming, hilarious, and brutally poignant — the masterful playwright and novelist Anosh Irani at his finest.
Awards and Honours
2018 Governor General’s Literary Awards, English Drama (Finalist)