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Family Life by Akhil Sharma

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Winner of the Folio Prize 2015.

Darkly comic, Family Life is a story of a boy torn between duty and survival amid the ruins of everything he once knew.


Family Life by Akhil Sharma

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd April 2015


Akhil Sharma

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Faber & Faber


224 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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