His writing is visual and intense, and he creates his flawed characters with humour and compassion as they struggle with changing times and cultural mores, while trying to survive the ghosts of the past. It’s an intriguing place Irani shows us, a place where old struggles yield beauty and love, as well as death and pain.” “Irani’s writing seems to capture the heat of an Indian summer.Irani gives us a fascinating and exotic story that takes place within a little known historical context of Iran/Indian history.” “Anosh Irani has a talent for peeling back layers of history and class in brilliant tales that are wittily folkloric, devastatingly political, and flamboyantly mythological. As he delivers a tragic love story, he also writes about peoples unfamiliar to most Canadians, telling of class differences and connection to the land.As Madhu does her skilled work, her emotions spiral out of control and her past returns to haunt her, threatening to unravel a lifetime’s carefully constructed identity. That the crime of child enslavement and sexual abuse continues worldwide, often with near impunity, makes the novel important but timely. There is an urgency behind each word driving the narrative that makes this book my favourite read of 2016. It is bold, bawdy, tender, funny, sorrowful, all that life is made up of, and when I did reach the end I felt abandoned.” “Set amid the raucous swirl of Bombay’s Kamathipura Red Light District, The Parcel is a searing indictment of the sex trafficking industry and a compassionate portrait of a troubled but resilient community.Here is a timely new novel that, like so much of Anosh Irani’s extraordinary literary work, takes its inspiration from the world of Bombay, even as its characters enthrall and speak to us all. In Madhu, the transgender, retired prostitute at the heart of the novel, Anosh Irani has created a powerful yet flawed character to steward the reader through difficult, often disturbing material. The various episodes in the novel are deeply affecting, giving the reader ample reason to agonize over the fact that such a place exists at all.His new play, The Men in White, was nominated for 3 Jessie Richardson Awards including for Outstanding Original Script.His work has been translated into eleven languages. The Parcel’s astonishing heart, soul and unforgettable voice is Madhu - a eunuch who has spent most of her life in a close-knit clan of transgender sex workers in Kamathipura, the notorious red-light district of Bombay, India.But when he is caught up in the beginnings of the savage violence that will soon engulf the city, his dreams confront reality.Moving, poignant, and wonderfully rich in the sights and sounds of Bombay, The Song of Kahunsha is a compelling story of hopes and dreams, and of the fragility of childhood innocence.
Harrowing, enraging, unexpectedly humorous, and also profoundly sad, The Parcel is a haunting work of fiction that illuminates the ways in which history, both political and personal, pervades the present day.” “Part of the way this excellent book heals such a sprawling, horrifying reality is with beauty…. Irani leads readers on a memorable walking tour through what is likely alien territory for them. In The Parcel, a powerful heroine spends her life searching for acceptance -- first, as a girl trapped in a boy's body, then as a sex worker on the streets of Kamathipura and finally, as a beggar desperate to shed her own skin.” “Irani takes readers into the depths of Mumbai’s teeming Kamathipura district, whose economy depends on prostitution bordering on slavery.
But though Irani makes the hell of slums visceral on his pages, he offers here the ways feral compassion can turn to grace.” “Anosh Irani’s The Parcel is a dark, intimate, and probing look at Kamathipura’s hijra community…it isn’t meant for the weak hearted…makes for riveting twists and turns.
High on drama and emotion set in the seamier side of Mumbai, this novel is a page-turner.” “Mud, blood and other body fluids: this novel takes no prisoners in its portrayal of prostitution in today’s Mumbai.
He must come from a long line of storytellers, fire keepers and, I suspect, also magicians.” “Anosh Irani’s third novel, Dahanu Road, offers a blend of personal family memories, historic truths and rich storytelling…it’s proof positive that there’s another superior talent from Southeast Asia living here. A fascinating look at what can and can’t be controlled despite the best of intentions.” “Dahanu Road is the sort of novel book clubs will be drawn to like moths to a porch light for its exotic setting and the love story at its heart. Anosh Irani is one of the best young writers in Canada.” “Dahanu Road has much in common with Rohinton Mistry’s Giller-Prize winning A Fine Balance…Irani unravels convoluted history and class division to lay bare a grand narrative…. The smells, vistas, religious rituals, and rhythms of nature on the road are key to the narrative’s power.” It is 1993 and Bombay is on the verge of being torn apart by racial violence.
In writing about distant worlds he shows us the exotic Other, while at the same time enacting on foreign stages the moral challenges we all face.” “Irani weaves an intricate web of personal and political relationships… Ten-year- old Chamdi has rarely ventured outside his orphanage, and entertains an idyllic fantasy of what the city is like beyond its garden walls - a paradise he calls Kahunsha, “the city of no sadness.” But when he runs away to search for his long-lost father, he finds himself thrust into the chaos of the streets, alone, possessing only the blood-stained cloth he was left in as a baby.
A harsh dose of reality administered with wit and clarity.” “North Vancouver’s Anosh Irani isn’t selling vacation dreams. As a result, the exoticism of his arresting fourth novel, The Parcel, is nowhere near pleasant and benign.