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Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

This is Sanghera’s first novel, following his exquisite award winning memoir The Boy with the Topknot. On the surface it’s a book about the Sikh immigrant experience in the UK but it is also much more broadly about families, the changing of generations and passing of time and how we manage when life turns out differently to what we wanted. Witty, charming, warm and fresh it offers up a fascinating view of modern British life.

If you like Sathnam Sanghera you might also like to read books by Catherine O'Flynn, Meera Syal and Jhumpa Lahiri.

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Synopsis

Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera

This is shortlisted for the Costa first novel award. To Arjan Banga, returning to the Black Country after the unexpected death of his father, his family's corner shop represents everything he has tried to leave behind - a lethargic pace of life, insular rituals and ways of thinking. But when his mother insists on keeping the shop open, he finds himself being dragged back, forced into big decisions about his imminent marriage back in London and uncovering the history of his broken family - the elopement and mixed-race marriage of his aunt Surinder, the betrayals and loyalties, loves and regrets that have played out in the shop over more than fifty years. Taking inspiration from Arnold Bennett's classic novel The Old Wives' Tale, Marriage Material tells the story of three generations of a family through the prism of a Wolverhampton corner shop - itself a microcosm of the South Asian experience in the country: a symbol of independence and integration, but also of darker realities. This is an epic tale of family, love, and politics, spanning the second half of the twentieth century, and the start of the twenty-first. Told with humour, tenderness and insight, it manages to be both a unique and urgent survey of modern Britain by one of Britain's most promising young writers, and an ingenious reimagining of a classic work of fiction.


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Reviews

A stunning novel ... touching and funny and feels so fresh ... it just leaps off the page. I adored it. -- Deborah Moggach

Having grown up in a corner shop in the West Midlands, I hoped that Sathnam Sanghera's Marriage Material would resonate. I was expecting acerbic wit, unsentimental tenderness and a Black Country setting - and it lived up to my stupid expectations. I really wanted to like it and I loved it - which never seems to happen. I usually damn things with high hopes. It was a lot of things I expected - funny and tender and scathing - but it's insanely gripping as well. So much of the newsagent detailing was completely spot on - there was plenty of my Dad in the character of Tanvir, plenty of all of my family in there really. A great achievement. -- Catherine O'Flynn, author of What Was Lost

About the Author

Sathnam Sanghera was born in 1976. He is an award-winning journalist who, until recently, was chief feature writer at The Financial Times. He now works for The Times and lives in London. This is his first book.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st September 2009

Author

Sathnam Sanghera

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Author's Website

www.sathnam.com/

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Publisher

Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
464 pages

Categories

Relationship Stories
Literary Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780099499299

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