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  • Published: 1 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529111538
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $24.00

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line


Vintage Lead Debut. When kids go missing in an Indian slum, nine-year-old Jai takes matters into his own hands: an irresistible child narrator to captivate the literary/commercial market

'Anappara creates an endearing and highly engaging narrator to navigate us through the dark underbelly of modern India' Observer
'I love this book...I just fell into it' Tayari Jones

We children are not just stories. We live. Come and see.

Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality cop shows, thinks he's smarter than his friend Pari (even though she always gets top marks) and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job).

When a boy at school goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from episodes of Police Patrol to find him. With Pari and Faiz by his side, Jai ventures into some of the most dangerous parts of the sprawling Indian city; the bazaar at night, and even the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But kids continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth.

* A New York Times Notable Book *
*One of the Observer's 10 best debut novelists of 2020*

'A heartrending tale' The Times
'A drama of childhood that is as wild as it is intimate' Chigozie Obioma, Booker Prize shortlisted author of An Orchestra of Minorities
'Extraordinarily good, deeply moving and thought provoking with brilliant characterisation. A very important book' Harriet Tyce, bestselling author of Blood Orange
'Djinn Patrol is storytelling at its best. The prose is not just sympathetic, vivid, and beautifully detailed, but also completely assured and deft' Anne Enright

  • Published: 1 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529111538
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $24.00

About the author

Deepa Anappara

Deepa Anappara grew up in Kerala, southern India, and worked as a journalist in cities including Mumbai and Delhi. Her reports on the impact of poverty and religious violence on the education of children won the Developing Asia Journalism Awards, the Every Human has Rights Media Awards, and the Sanskriti-Prabha Dutt Fellowship in Journalism. A partial of her debut novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, won the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, the Bridport/Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award and the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and is currently studying for a PhD on a CHASE doctoral fellowship.


Praise for Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Djinn Patrol is storytelling at its best. The prose is not just sympathetic, vivid, and beautifully detailed, but also completely assured and deft. We care about these characters from the first page and our concern for them is richly repaid

Anne Enright, Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering

A brilliant debut

Ian McEwan, Sunday Times bestselling author of Atonement

Deepa Anappara is a writer of considerable talent. This is a wonderful, energetic book filled with humour and pathos. Charming, sensitive and deeply moving

Nathan Filer, Costa Prize-winning author of The Shock of the Fall

A stunningly original tale. I stayed up late every night until I finished, reluctant to part from Deepa Anappara's heart-stealing characters

Etaf Rum, New York Times bestselling author of A Woman Is No Man

Extraordinarily good, deeply moving and thought provoking with brilliant characterisation. A very important book

Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange

A magnificent achievement: the endeavours of the Djinn Patrol offer us a captivating world of wit, warmth and heartbreak, beautifully crafted through a child's unique perspective

Mahesh Rao, author of The Smoke is Rising

The children at the heart of this story will stay with you long after you turn the last page. a wonderful debut

Christie Watson, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Language of Kindness

A moving and confident novel about the preciousness of life. The storytelling is distinctive and immersive

Nikesh Shukla, author and editor of The Good Immigrant

A profoundly emphatic work of creative genius that will stay with you forever

Sonia Faleiro, author of Beautiful Thing

Created from whole cloth, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is a richly textured rendition of a world little seen in Indian literature. There is no desire to smooth and tidy in fiction what is untidy in life, but instead there is a pay off for the reader in a story that is as quietly troubling as it is convincing

Mridula Koshy, author of Not Only the Things That Have Happened

A story full of humor, warmth, and heartbreak . Jai's voice is irresistible: funny, vivid, smart, and yet always believably a child's point of view . Engaging characters, bright wit, and compelling storytelling make a tale that's bleak at its core and profoundly moving

Kirkus, starred review

Informed by her times as a journalist in Mumbai and Delhi, Deepa Anappara's debut is a fine portrait of modern-day India. an utterly convincing voice-lively, cheeky and irrepressible. Anappara skilfully reveals the harsh reality that lies just beyond Jai's understanding of his world

Alice O'Keeffe, Bookseller

In this thrilling reading experience, Deepa Anappara creates a drama of childhood that is as wild as it is intimate. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is an entertaining, wonderful debut

Chigozie Obioma, Booker-prize shortlisted author of An Orchestra of Minorities

A dazzling journey into the heart of India and its most vulnerable citizens -- its impoverished and disenfranchised children. A novel at once brimming with the wonder of childhood innocence, and constrained by the heartache of living amidst injustice and prejudice. Deepa Anappara shows us a modern, dangerously divided India that has long needed to be seen

Nazanine Hozar, author of Aria

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is unlike any book I have ever read-surprising, vividly imagined, and full of humor and humanity-and I fell head over heels for Jai, the police-show-obsessed narrator on a quest to find his missing classmate. Deepa Anappara is a writer of rare insight and a sure-footed storyteller. This book will charm you on one page, and rip your heart out on the next

Amy Jones, author of Every Little Piece of Me

Deepa Anappara takes us inside urban India with astonishing specificity, into a funny and heartbreaking child's world of wonder and cruelty. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is addictive and unforgettable. Once you're in Jai's neighbourhood you don't want to leave

Todd Babiak, author of The Empress of Idaho

[Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line] makes an urgent case for the protection of the country's youngest and most vulnerable

Timothy Harrison, Vogue, *Books to Look Our For in 2020*

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is likely to be one of the country's standout works of fiction in 2020

Asian Image, *Books to Look Our For in 2020*

Irresistibly brimming with character and personality, I couldn't stop picking it up for the bright lights of the writing. I also love the fact that it addresses an important issue while opening a window on everyday life in India. Wonderful.

Diana Evans

Anappara brings [the bazaar] brilliantly to vibrant, chaotic life... The amateur detectives and their schemes are utterly winning, effervescing off the page, but the tone gradually darkens as more children disappear, reflecting terrible actual statistics... [A] stand-out debut

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

Vivid writing and a gripping plot with an unforgettable narrator

BN1 Magazine

A vivid, compelling debut that mixes Jai's joie de vivre with a menacing truth about the shockingly precarious lives of poor children who go missing every day in India

Charlotte Heathcote, Sunday Express

Deepa Anappara's richly textured and delightfully observed debut evokes the sights and sounds of a sprawling Indian city. Every detail rings true... Day-to-day life in the slums has such vitality that you immediately warm to the residents, with their resilience and dry humour

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

A charming yet heartbreaking novel


Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is less a reading experience than an encounter with a life force. The rattle-tattle energy of the basti will pull the readers in as they experience the smells, colours and tastes of this captivating world. From relaying the rampant poverty to inherent cultural barriers, to corruption including openly bribing police, the book is utterly mesmerising

Umbreen Ali, Asian Image

Anappara delivers nuanced commentary on Indian society amid dark, derring-do adventure


It's not hard to see why Djinn Patrol is one of the most eagerly awaited debut novels this spring. It feels like a reckoning with modern India and its many complex problems. Anappara cleverly filters a uniquely Indian horror story through a chirpy, Famous Five-esque narrative and the voice of a witty, young, have-a-go hero

Johanna Thomas-Corr, The Times

A first novel of true distinction. There is true Dickensian vigour in the way Anappara evokes the noise and smells, the timeless boredom and the fear of life in the Basti, the slum dwelling. I cannot recommend this too highly

A.N. Wilson, Tablet

Anappara impressively inhabits the inner worlds of children lost to their families

Maria Russo, *Editor's Choice* New York Times

Life in the slums of an Indian city is vividly described in this novel... Though the subject matter is heartbreaking, this debut author handles it with lightness

Good Housekeeping

It's difficult to convey what's so special about Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line without spoilers, but suffice to say it's transformed utterly by its concluding chapters... [Anappara] delivers something more powerful and complex than the vast majority of more highly crafted novels. The narrative goes beyond portraying how the poor of India have been betrayed by their government, and suggests they might also be betrayed by the stories we like to tell about them. Jai has to grow up overnight: this book asks that the reader does, too.

Sandra Newman, *A dazzling debut* Guardian

Anappara's debut novel immediately charms through Jai's voice, and Anappara has caught the scale of a child's world perfectly. Djinn Patrol is the kind of novel you both can't stop reading and don't want to end, because it means letting go of characters who feel like friends

Sarah Ditum, In the Moment

Anappara's characters brim with swagger and spirit and she creates a world of wit, warmth and heart

Nina Stibbe

Extraordinary... moving and unpredictable... remarkable

Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post

In Jai, Anappara has created a boy vivid in his humanity, one whose voice somersaults on the page. Rich with easy joy, Anappara's writing announces the arrival of a literary supernova... (Warning: If you begin reading the book in the morning, don't expect to get anything done for the rest of the day.)

Lorraine Adams, New York Times Book Review

This moving and stylish book pulls off a difficult trick. It is an engaging, amusing tale, powered by Jai's ebullient personality; at the same time it is an insightful portrait of the underside of 21st-century India. As Dickens did, Ms Anappara understands the power of fiction to bring alive the plights of people readers might otherwise overlook


What really sets Djinn Patrol apart.is the authenticity of Jai's voice. Narrating in the first person, Anappara immerses us not only in Jai's world of deep social inequities, but also in his internal world. Anappara creates an endearing and highly engaging narrator to navigate us through the dark underbelly of modern India

Hannah Beckerman, Observer

Jai is a wonderful narrator, fully imagined and in Anappara's hands, his world takes shape with care yet without sentiment... Anappara took me effortlessly into the alien world of a slum in an Indian metropolis, and helped me to see it through a child's eyes

Nilanjana Roy, Financial Times

A vivid, immersive debut laced with wonder

Maria Crawford, Financial Times

A captivating literary style... A dazzling, wonderful book

Elif Shafak, Daily Mail

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