Dimensions:7.8in x 5.05 x 0.7 in | 0.45 lb
Page Count:256 pages
CRITICAL ACCLAIM: China Room was released to a frenzy of praise, receiving raves in The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, TIME, The Times, Times Literary Supplement, Literary Review, The Guardian and more.
BREAKOUT NOVEL FROM A MAJOR TALENT: A Booker and Dylan Thomas Prize finalist and one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists of the Decade, Sunjeev Sahota drew praise from top U.S. critics for his previous novel, The Year of the Runaways. Now, he returns with a novel with tremendously broad appeal, thanks to its unforgettable female protagonist, irresistible story of doomed love, and exploration of timely themes.
BASED ON A TRUE STORY: Based in part on the author’s great-grandmother’s story—amazingly, she was married into a situation similar to Mehar’s—and informed by the author’s own experiences growing up in England, China Room contains fascinating autobiographical elements that will help garner coverage well beyond book review outlets.
TIMELY: Through this compelling, warm, deeply human story, Sahota deftly and subtly tackles urgent contemporary issues including racism, misogyny, and complex aspects of the Indian diaspora.
ALL THE ELEMENTS: Gorgeous writing that’s compulsively readable, a high-stakes love story, an unforgettable heroine, and a perfect ending—China Room delivers on every level.
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 BOOKER PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE
“Sahota is an enormously gifted writer . . . a bold storyteller who seems to have learned as many tricks from TV as from Tolstoy, and has a jeweller’s unillusioned eye for the goods. . . . Lovely phrases glitter. . . . Sahota’s ability to shine a phrase is not bought for the usual steep formalist price, at the expense of simplicity, intimate feeling, and solid representation. He’s both camera and painter, in a literary world that often separates those novelistic tasks.” —James Wood, The New Yorker
“[China Room] forges telling and skillful connections between the two very different eras, showing the ways that a place—a house, a room—can store up pieces of a remarkable past and release them, generations later, when someone comes looking.” —The Wall Street Journal
“[An] intense, heartrending novel.” —The Washington Post
“A family saga both sweeping and granular . . . [that] examines agency, power and human connection.” —TIME
“Gorgeously crafted . . . powerful . . . a sweeping dual portrait.” —Star-Tribune
“[Sahota] is a restrained stylist whose details bloom in the imagination . . . [there is] respite, even solace, to be found in [his] precise and exhilarating observation.” —Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine
“In Mehar, Sahota has powerfully imagined a life under extreme constraint . . . Mehar’s great-grandson is a reminder that freedom is hard-won, but fear and anxiety can get passed down as heirlooms.” —USA Today
“Intimate and startling.” —Electric Literature
“A deeply captivating and necessary novel.” —Ploughshares
“[China Room] illuminates the lives of those hidden away by history and the passage of time. . . . We all come from ancestors whose seemingly unendurable suffering enabled us to live our present lives. Sahota suggests that by unearthing their stories, we confront our individual and collective intergenerational pain.” —Washington Independent Review of Books
“Weaving together two timelines and two continents, China Room struck us as a brilliant twist on the novel of immigrant experience, considering in subtle and moving ways the trauma handed down from one generation to the next. In crisp, clean prose, and with a dash of melodramatic action, Sahota turns these heavy themes into something filled with love, hope and humour.” —2021 Booker Prize Judges
“This novel deserves to win prizes. One of Britain’s most fêted young novelists tackles difficult themes in an unsweetened, fresh and nourishing way.” —The Times
“[Sahota] demonstrates his command through this novel’s smooth, evocative language. His expert prose never resorts to pyrotechnics but conveys a great deal through deft description. . . . Beautifully written.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[China Room’s] non-linear narrative portrays an urgency that is unparalleled. . . . [I] rushed through the book overnight.” —Shrestha Saha, The Telegraph India
“[A] lovely, dream-like novel. . . . Sahota gives his period narrative the same effortless immediacy as his present-day one, yet his novel works by stealth, quietly beguiling the reader into an almost painful intimacy with his characters’ respective culturally circumscribed lives. I loved it.” —Claire Allfree, Daily Mail
“China Room is the most personal of Sahota's novels so far, a beautifully realised blend of fiction and memoir. . . . The fluid structure allows the resonances between the two completely different lives to accumulate delicately. . . . Sahota is a truly original novelist, his prose sparingly precise in its beauty, steeped in kindness and deep humanity.” —Ruth Scurr, The Times Literary Supplement
“China Room burns quietly but fiercely from first page to last—a gorgeous, gripping read.” —Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire
“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, author of The Quickening Maze
“China Room is a stunning novel, I'm blown away by it. It's so complex and yet lucid and easy, so perfectly achieved. I was gripped from the first page to the last.” —Tessa Hadley, author of The Past
“Such a thrilling combination of beauty and heartbreak. It's breathtaking.” —Charlotte Mendelson, author of Almost English
“Boisterous, emotional, and heartrending, China Room juggles questions of love, debt, and what it means to build a home alongside the history that carries us. Sahota navigates the worlds between where we believe we belong, where we end up, and the choices we make to close the distance along the way, with humanity, precision, and grace—China Room is a propulsive dream, intricately wrought, and Sahota is a maestro.” —Bryan Washington, author of Memorial
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