Heart-wrenching and darkly comic, this hotly anticipated second novel from the author of An Obedient Father is the beautifully told story of a boy torn between duty and survival.
For eight-year-old Ajay Mishra and his older brother Birju, family life in Delhi in the late 1970s follows a comfortable, predictable routine: bathing on the roof, queuing for milk, playing day-long games of cricket in the street. Everything changes when their father finds a job in America - a land of carpets and elevators, swimsuits and hot water - and the Mishras, envy of their neighbourhood back home, become the latest unknowns in the vast expanse of New York.
Life in America is extraordinary, and as snows and summers come and go the brothers adjust to their exciting new world of prosperity, girls and 24-hour TV. But then comes the hot, sultry day when everything falls apart: tragedy turns the Mishras' American dream into a living nightmare and young Ajay finds himself lost and virtually orphaned in a land that is not his own.
About the Author
Akhil Sharma was born in Delhi in India and emigrated to the USA in 1979. His stories have been published in the New Yorker and in Atlantic Monthly, and have been included in The Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Prize Collections. His first novel, An Obedient Father, won the 2001 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. He was named one of Granta's 'Best of Young American Novelists' in 2007.