Indian Bret Easton Ellis to Viking

<p>Viking editor Will Hammond has bought world rights to <em>The Temple-Goers</em>, a literary d&eacute;but by Aatish Taseer, described by V S Naipaul as &ldquo;a writer to watch&rdquo;. The deal, Hammond&#39;s first for a fiction title and Viking&#39;s first world rights deal in literary fiction for some years, was conducted by Andrew Kidd of Aitken Alexander for a &ldquo;very good sum&rdquo;. </p><p>The novel is set in Delhi and is said to herald the arrival of &ldquo;the cool new urban voice of modern India&rdquo;. The narrator is a wealthy, cosmopolitan member of India&#39;s English-speaking elite, who strikes up an unlikely friendship with his personal trainer, a charismatic young man on the make. When the trainer becomes a suspect in his own wife&#39;s murder, the well-connected narrator pulls strings to shift the blame onto the trainer&#39;s homosexual brother-in-law. </p><p>Taseer is the son of a Pakistani businessman and politician. Hammond compared his &ldquo;sophisticated and unflinching&rdquo; voice to that of Bret Easton Ellis. Penguin m.d. Helen &shy;Fraser added that <em>The Temple-&shy;Goers </em>was &ldquo;funny, sharp, beautifully observed social comedy, which gradually turns into something much more menacing and peculiar&rdquo;.</p><p><br />The novel is due out in March 2010 as a royal trade paperback.</p>