`Fireproof ventures where reportage cannot go, granting even those who have perished a voice' Observer February 2002. A helpless nation watches as the city of Ahmedabad in India is rocked by religious violence. Before sunrise the next day, more than a hundred Muslim men, women and children will be killed, most of them burnt alive. Above the smoke and flames, the dead get together and decide to intervene - in the life of a father whose wife has just given birth to their first child. `The newborn at the centre of the novel, named Ithim by his father, is so helpless, so defenceless, that his presence is commanding, and the sense of foreboding surrounding him is fully realised and sustained throughout . . . Fireproof is a novel about the limits of representation, and the figure of the baby, and all he has endured, is emotionally resonant in the extreme' Irish Times `The novel focuses on conveying the voices of the dead, while exploring a more universal culpability and the workings of conscience and redemption' Guardian
Raj Kamal Jha is the author of The Blue Bedspread (1999), which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Eurasia) and If You Are Afraid of Heights (2003). Jha lives in New Delhi where he is executive editor of the Indian Express newspaper. His fiction has been published in over twelve languages. This is his third novel.