|Subject:||Drama & Music||Publisher:||House of Anansi Press Inc|
|Published:||September 25th 2018||Pages:||120|
In the latest play from Governor General’s Literary Award finalist Anosh Irani, we meet eighteen-year-old Hasan Siddiqui, who lives in a bustling Muslim quarter of Bombay. He escapes the drudgery of his work at a chicken slaughterhouse by fostering two fervent dreams — to become a star in cricket, a sport at which he happens to excel, and to win the affections of Haseena, a fiercely intelligent young woman two years his junior. When it comes to her, however, he is not so proficient, and Hasan’s close-to-nonexistent prospects — along with the rather unfortunate setting of their budding romance, Baba’s Chicken Centre — make advancing either cause look impossible.
Half a world away in Vancouver, Hasan’s older brother, Abdul, has been working under the table at an Indian restaurant, attempting to set down roots with the hope of one day reuniting with his brother. For Abdul the immigrant dream shows little sign of materializing, but he finds solace in his amateur cricket team. When he and the team’s captain decide to take action to end their losing streak, they talk of recruiting the talented Hasan for the rest of the season. But bringing Hasan from India to Canada will take much more than just a plane ticket, and rising tensions demonstrate that not all members of the team agree with the high cost.
Alternating between Bombay and Vancouver and exploring urgent themes surrounding the complexities of the modern immigrant experience, Islamophobia, and racial violence, The Men in White is by turns disarming, hilarious, and brutally poignant — the masterful playwright and novelist Anosh Irani at his finest.
ANOSH IRANI was born and brought up in Bombay and moved to Vancouver in 1998. His play Bombay Black won five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including for Outstanding New Play, and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Drama. The Matka King received a Jessie Award nomination for Outstanding Original Script, as did his latest play, The Men in White. Irani’s most recent novel, The Parcel, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; was longlisted for the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the 2018 Dublin Literary Award; and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by the Globe and Mail, National Post, CBC, the Walrus, and Quill & Quire. His work has been translated into eleven languages.