In a tiny flat in Bombay Imelda Mendes - Em to her children - holds her family in thrall with her flamboyance, her manic affection and her cruel candour. Her husband - 'The Big Hoom' - and her two children must bear her 'microweathers', her swings from laugh-out-loud joy to dark malevolence, and her frequent wish to die.
In Em and the Big Hoom, the son begins to unravel the story of his parents: the mother he loves and hates in the same moment and the unusual man who courted, married and protected her - as much from herself as from the world.
Brilliantly comic and almost unbearably moving, Jerry Pinto's portrait of a woman finding it difficult to stay sane - and what happens to those who cannot help but love her - is one of the most powerful and original debuts of recent years.
About the Author
Jerry Pinto lives and works in Mumbai. He has been a mathematics tutor, school librarian, journalist and columnist. He is now associated with MelJol, an NGO that works in the sphere of child rights. His published works include a book of poems, Asylum, and Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb, which won the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema in 2007. Em and The Big Hoom is his first novel.
The anger is a primal force, the sadness wild and raw. Against this, the jokes are hilarious, reckless, free falling ... This is a rare, brilliant book, one that is wonderfully different from any other that I have read coming out of India -- Kiran Desai Extremely funny, and its pages are filled with endearing and eccentric characters. Em and The Big Hoom is a profoundly moving book -- Amitav Ghosh A delightful debut ... Written with genuine compassion and sincerity, while a sprinkling of black humour ensures it is never overly sentimental Financial Times A near-perfect account of a psychologically troubled mother and the shockwaves felt by her family. Rich and beguiling ... Within sentences of this touching, funny and calmly shocking narrative, their son makes it clear that he knows about the things that really matter Irish Times Jerry Pinto's prose is lively and incisive ... moments of great humour here as well as moments of tenderness and poignancy Herald Pinto's written a novel that perhaps uniquely breaks free from India's historic, cacophonous clamour Metro The book is moving because it is howlingly funny - Em has a kind of enchanted loghorrea - and wholly unsentimental in its handling of the "phenomenal expense of empathy". It's a memorable chamber work, with wide appeal Independent
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 25th June 2014
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.5 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.42