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Three years ago, during the Random House Sales Conference in Amsterdam, Hutchinson editorial director, Paul Sidey, had lunch with an author who had written some short stories.

‘Your writing is brilliant. Short stories, especially for a newcomer, are hard to sell. What about a novel?’

And here it is – Like Heaven, the story of Ved Saran, an Indian from Port of Spain, Trinidad – a ramshackle carnival culture which is suddenly becoming oil and gas rich. Sant transforms the family business, but finds himself inexorably dragged into a whirlpool of politics and corruption. Like the country itself, he loses his innocence.

‘Like Heaven is epic in scope but intimate in detail,' Sidey says, 'and Niala Maharaj has a vibrantly original new voice.’

The Bookseller, March 2006

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