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China Room by Sunjeev Sahota

China Room by Sunjeev Sahota

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Hardcover novel

From the Booker Prize finalist, a captivating novel about two unforgettable characters seeking to free themselves--one from the expectations placed on women in early twentieth-century Punjab, and the other from the weight of life in the contemporary Indian diaspora.

1929. Fifteen-year-old Mehar is one of three wives married to three brothers on a farm in small-town Punjab. The problem is, she doesn't know which of them is her husband. She and her sisters spend their days hard at work, sequestered from the men--except when their domineering mother-in-law, Mai, summons them to a darkened chamber at night. Curious and headstrong, Mehar can't help but try to piece together what Mai doesn't want her to know. From beneath her veil, she studies the sounds of the men's voices, the calluses on their fingers as she serves their tea. When at last, through the slats of the family's china room, she glimpses something that seems to confirm her husband's identity, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk.

1999. A British Sikh man drops out of university and travels to Punjab, hoping to shake an addiction that has held him in its grip for over a year. Growing up in small-town England, the son of an immigrant shopkeeper, his experiences of racist ostracism and violence led him to seek a dangerous form of escape. Now, as he rides out his withdrawal at an old farmstead belonging to the family, he meets a woman, an outcast who offers him friendship.

At once sweeping and intimate, vivid and gripping, China Room is a deeply moving story of oppression, love, trauma, and resilience--the perfect book for our times.

Sunjeev Sahota is a British novelist whose first novel, Ours are the Streets, was published in January 2011 and whose second novel, The Year of the Runaways, was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and was awarded a European Union Prize for Literature in 2017