Family Life

From the publisher:

This book is the Winner Of The Folio Prize 2015. Heart-wrenching and darkly comic, this acclaimed 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.

Akhil Sharma was born in Delhi, India in 1971. As an eight-year-old, he migrated to the United States with his family. His first novel, An Obedient Father, won the 2001 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2001 Whiting Writers' Award, and he is the author of various short stories, which have appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, the Quarterly and Fiction.

His second novel, Family Life, will be published by Faber in 2014.

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