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Book Launch: Line of Blood by Balraj Khanna


Book Launch: Line of Blood by Balraj Khanna

31 May 2017


The Nehru Centre

8 South Audley Street

London W1

All welcome – please RSVP to


Paul Pickering writes:

‘I was deeply moved and at times astonished by this novel. In a mere 134 pages Balraj Khanna has addressed all the individual suffering and political complexities of Indian Partition in a way which has defeated lesser talents. There is a magnificence about this book which makes one think of Tolstoy, especially in Khanna’s description of a small and in the main, happy town of Puranapur, railroaded to disintegration and horror because of lazy decisions taken thousands of miles away in England by men who did not care. The details of the period, from piles of teeth in front of a street dentist, to glasses of Vimto and Sacred Cows who have not read the British political script, are expertly handled. One also recalls V.S. Naipaul’s novel, A Bend in the River, but Naipaul does not have the same sympathy for his characters as Khanna. The quiet dignity of the miller, Jyoti, is masterful. At the end, after all the killing, one is convinced that even the worst men are good underneath, that the massacres and murders are as much due to misunderstandings and mistakes as any darkness in the human soul. In this Line of Blood is a triumph and truly Dostoyevskian in its greatness.’