Regular price $21.00
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 BOOKER PRIZE
A transfixing novel about two unforgettable characters seeking to free themselves—one from the expectations of women in early 20th century Punjab, and the other from the weight of life in the contemporary Indian diaspora.
Mehar, a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. Married to three brothers in a single ceremony, she and her now-sisters spend their days sequestered from the men in the family’s “china room”—except when their domineering mother-in-law summons them to a darkened chamber at night. Curious and strong willed, Mehar tries to piece together the truth as the early stirrings of the Indian independence movement rise around her, forcing her to weigh her own desires against the reality—and danger—of her situation.
Spiralling around Mehar’s story is that of a young man who arrives at his uncle’s house in Punjab in the summer of 1999, hoping to shake a formidable addiction. Raised in small-town England as the son of an immigrant shopkeeper, his experiences of racism, violence, and estrangement led him to seek a dangerous form of escape. As he rides out his withdrawal at his family’s ancestral home—an abandoned farmstead, its china room mysteriously locked and barred—he begins to piece himself back together.
Partly inspired by award-winning author Sunjeev Sahota’s family history, China Room is at once a deft exploration of how systems of power circumscribe individual lives and a deeply moving portrait of the unconquerable human capacity to resist them. At once sweeping and intimate, lush and propulsive, it is a stunning achievement from a contemporary master.
Paperback || 256 pages || 5.06" x 7.75"