We That Are Young

Preti Taneja

550 pages August 2017 copies in English Original publisher: Galley Beggar PressLiterary Fiction

On behalf of: Galley Beggar Press

On behalf of: David Godwin Associates




A modern-day King Lear that bursts with energy and fierce, beautifully measured rage.

Jivan Singh, the bastard scion of the Devraj family, returns to his childhood home after a long absence – only to witness the unexpected resignation of the ageing patriarch from the vast corporation he founded, the Devraj Company. On the same day, Sita, Devraj’s youngest daughter, absconds and Radha and Gargi, Sita’s older sisters, are handed the Company…

Set against the backdrop of the anti-corruption riots in 2011–2012, it provides startling insights into modern India. This is a novel about the human heart. And its breaking point.


“Brilliant…finely crafted…Taneja has given us that rarest of beasts, a page-turner that is also unabashedly political.” (The Guardian)

“Taneja maintains layers in her writing that overreach the simple fantasies to which we are accustomed to…a shining achievement.” (The White Review)

“Preti Taneja is a writer to watch, no doubt about it.” (Deborah Levy)

“Preti’s novel is big, beautiful, and most of all bold: a rewriting of King Lear, transplanted to modern day Delhi, which is both a dazzlingly original reading of the play and a full novel in its own right. A masterpiece.” (The Spectator)

“Revelatory…urgent and irresistible…one of the most exquisite and original novels of the year.” (The Sunday Times)

“Wonderful…looks set to hold a mirror to our times.” (The Observer)

“In years to come, Preti Taneja will be known as one of the UK’s most important writers.” (Nikesh Shukla)

“The writing is stunning…turns of phrase are to be savoured, imagery basked in. A literary feast – Preti Taneja deserves all the commendations.” (Never Imitate)

“In a brilliant, sharp adaptation, Preti Taneja shows her profound understanding not just of Shakespeare and India, but of human nature itself. Heartbreaking. A poetic tour de force.” (Vishal Bhardwaj)

“Sharp, cogent, and evocative…the great appeal of We That Are Young concerns the serving of justice: discovering who gets what, as opposed to who deserves what.” (The New Statesman)

“A remarkable picture of contemporary India…Taneja’s sensuous writing brings women’s predicaments to life – a chilling warning.” (The Irish Times)

“An instant classic. Stunning. Gripping. Before I run out of praise – just read it.” (Rishi Dastidar)

“The best book set in India…since A Suitable Boy. She writes gloriously.” (Backlisted)

“With We That Are Young, Preti Taneja has written an enthralling, brave, and very important book.” (Maureen Freely)

“A truly magnificent novel: epic in scope and fizzing with originality. Taneja’s is a powerful and arresting voice. We That Are Young tells a piercing tale of modern India – and of modern womanhood – that is brutally honest. It lingers in the mind long after the last page.” (Jodie Ginsberg, Index on Censorship)

“An absolutely fantastic book. The Lear background made it feel as though I was re-reading a very old and much-loved novel for the second time, picking up on new and fascinating thoughts and connections, even while I forgot that Lear was there at all. We That Are Young is beautifully, beautifully written.” (The Conversation)



Winner of the Desmond Elliot Prize 2018

Shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2018

Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2018