MUMBAI, India – Offering a bold new voice in the world of Indian literature, Babu Gautam releases “Deadly Innocent” (published by Partridge Singapore). This roman a’ clef, written in English language, illustrates what the death of childhood innocence entails.
“Deadly Innocent” imaginatively recounts the short-lived life of an adolescent rebel, Leelu. The picaro here is a troubled teenager whose exploits come as cries to the busy world which go unheard. On a factual account, he is a rebel without cause. However, the facts make way for the truth, when readers — through the defiant journey of Leelu — come across the uncut reality of an adolescent underworld in the times of cholera and war. While a nation is breathing patriotism in the face of hunger, a small sleepy village wakes up every morning and tries to grasp the unwieldy consequences of war.
“The book brings the undercurrents of troubled teenage to the fore,” Gautam points out. “Against the brutality in the name of parental responsibility, and against the sadistic torture in the name of teaching, Leelu’s rebellion is that of every boy’s wanting to be a man.”
“Deadly Innocent” gives a callow and honest depiction of teenage angst and alienation. Although set during India’s post-independence period, the novel uncannily deals with a cornucopia of issues such as innocence, identity, belongingness, patriotism, loss and sex that will resonate to the world at large.
When asked what he wants readers to take away from the story, the author states, “Go back to the child in you. Hear his cries. Feel his angst. It’s he who’s going to be you in the years to come. Try and keep him undamaged to make this world honest and empathetic. If discipline is what you want in a child, give him the freedom to understand the value of that discipline.”
By Babu Gautam
Hardcover | 5 x 8in | 242 pages | ISBN 9781543706697
Softcover | 5 x 8in | 242 pages | ISBN 9781543706703
E-Book | 242 pages | ISBN 9781543706710
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble