Longlisted for Booker Prize 2021, China Room is a literary masterpiece, inspired by real-life events, from award winning author Sunjeev Sahota
‘Sunjeev Sahota’s writing is the stuff of miracles’ – Bryan Washington
‘A gorgeous, gripping read’ – Kamila Shamsie
‘I’m blown away by it. I was gripped from the first page to the last’ – Tessa Hadley
‘Such a thrilling combination of beauty and heartbreak. It’s breathtaking’ – Charlotte Mendelson
‘An intense drama of classic themes – love, family, survival, and betrayal – told with passion and precision in Sahota’s economical, lyrical prose. China Room is a brilliant novel. I won’t forget any of these characters’ – Adam Foulds
A multigenerational novel of love, oppression, trauma and the pursuit of freedom, inspired in part by the author’s own family history, China Room twines together the stories of a woman and a man separated by more than half a century but united by blood.
Mehar, a young bride in the rural Punjab of 1929, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. She and her sisters-in-law, married to three brothers in a single ceremony, spend their days hard at work in the family’s ‘china room’, sequestered from contact with the men. When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that puts more than one life at risk.
Spiralling around Mehar’s story is that of a young man who, in 1999, travels from England to the now-deserted farm, its ‘china room’ locked and barred. In enforced flight from the traumas of his adolescence-his experiences of addiction, racism and estrangement from the culture of his birth-he spends a summer in painful contemplation and recovery, before finally finding the strength to return home.
1. This book is for all fiction lovers, especially historical fiction set in India.
2. Sunjeev Sahota was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and won the Encore Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature and the South Bank Sky Arts Award. He was chosen as one of Granta‘s Best Young British Novelists in 2013.
3. The book’s deals with the themes of oppression, women’s lives in India, arranged marriages, identity and freedom.
4. Sunjeev Sahota’s previous works include Ours Are the Streets and The Year of the Runaways.
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