It all started in August 1968 when Babo, with curly hair and jhill mill teeth, became the first member of the Patel family to leave Madras and fly on a plane all the way to London to further his education. His father should have known there would be trouble: on the morning of the departure he had his first and only dream, in which strange ghosts threw poison-tipped arrows and all his family was lost. But off Babo went, and now here he is, in a flat off the Finchley Road, untraditionally making love to a cream-skinned girl from Wales, Sian Jones, whom he fell head over heels for as soon as he saw the twirl of red ribbon in her hair.
Ba-ba-boom, ba-ba-boom, ba-ba-boom-boom-boom. Theirs is a mixed-up love in a topsy-turvy world, and their two families will never be the same again. Meet the Patel-Joneses: Babo, Sian, Mayuri and Bean, in their little house with orange and black gates next-door to the Punjab Women's Association.
As the twentieth century creaks and croaks its way along - somewhere out there Jim Morrison commits suicide; Charles and Diana get hitched; Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her own bodyguards; cable TV arrives in India - these four navigate their way through the uncharted territory of a 'hybrid' family: the hustle and bustle of Babo's relatives, the faraway phone-line crackle of Sian's, the eternal wisdom and soft bosom of great-grandmother Ba, the perils of first love, lost innocence and old age, and the big question: what do you do with the space your loved ones leave behind? In this tender, lyrical and uplifting debut, Tishani Doshi, a prizewinning poet, effortlessly captures the quirks and calamities of one unusual clan in a story of identity, family, belonging and all-transcending love.
About The Author
Tishani Doshi is a poet and dancer based in Madras, India. Her first collection of poetry, Countries of the Body, won the Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection in 2006. The Pleasure Seekers is her first novel.
'A captivating, delightful novel.' Salman Rushdie
'Haunting, assured, delicately crafted... wonderfully fresh and precise.' Ruth Padel
'Poised yet unpredictable...streaks of magic, love and memory.' Mick Imlah
'Tishani Doshi's poems have both heart and intelligence. They are rich in mysterious images and narratives both explicit and implied. You could read them a hundred times and still find something you hadn't noticed before.' Louis de Bernieres