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  • Published: 6 July 2021
  • ISBN: 9781911215851
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $40.00

China Room

LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021




The breathtaking new novel from the Booker-shortlisted author of The Year of the Runaways

Mehar, a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. She and her sisters-in-law, married to three brothers in a single ceremony, spend their days hard at work in the family's 'china room', sequestered from contact with the men. When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk.

Spiralling around Mehar's story is that of a young man who in 1999 travels from England to the now-deserted farm, its 'china room' locked and barred. In enforced flight from the traumas of his adolescence - his experiences of addiction, racism, and estrangement from the culture of his birth - he spends a summer in painful contemplation and recovery, before finally finding the strength to return home.

  • Published: 6 July 2021
  • ISBN: 9781911215851
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $40.00

Praise for China Room

With poise, restraint and deep intelligence, Sahota feeds us big, difficult themes - segregation and freedom, revolution and empire - in a form that is unsweetened, fresh and nourishing. Surely this, his third novel, will propel him up the shortlists to the prizewinning status he deserves.

Melissa Katsoulis, The Times, 'This Book Will Win Prizes'

There is a scrupulous subtlety about that way that Sahota refuses to let his historical characters act as though they are in a historical novel.

Alex Clark, Guardian, Book of the Day

Sahota combines great writing with amazing storytelling... his books are intelligent and beautifully written and very poised but also incredibly immersive, gripping and very moving. An epic in miniature, China Room is the kind of novel that reminds you why you fell in love with reading in the first place.

Open Book, BBC Radio 4

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... I loved it.

Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

Sahota is a truly original novelist, his prose sparingly precise in its beauty, steeped in kindness and deep humanity.

Ruth Scurr, TLS

Engrossing, intricate, excellent.

Literary Review

Sahota's beautifully crafted novel dovetails two stories from different eras... Both characters are prisoners of circumstances but, in their hunger for redemption, become emblematic of the human condition.

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

China Room is a rare novel that makes you pause in its beauty.

Francesca Carington, Sunday Telegraph, *Novel of the Week*

A gripping read... a memorable and poignant depiction of how family histories can echo through the generations.

Huston Gilmore, Daily Mirror

China Room is very good at examining the trauma held in one family, whether it be personal or housed in a home, village, or country. Sahota seems to acknowledge that although we are not doomed to repeat the past, each subsequent generation feels a measure of the hardship that the last generation faced... a well-developed story of two lives that touch one another in ways that that can never be clearly seen.

India Lewis, Arts Desk

Outstanding... dense with intricate layers. As author, Sahota brilliantly plays with access to knowledge, to history. China Room promises to haunt and to illuminate.

Shelf Awareness

Novels this good are rare.

Anthony Cummins, Daily Telegraph, *Summer Reads of 2021*

Sahota's prose is a finely modulated instrument that moves from subtle minutiae to cosmic magnitude... Exhibiting the narrative control and psychological acuity of Rohinton Mistry and Jhumpa Lahiri, Sahota's tale of trans-generational trauma is quietly devastating.

Madeleine Feeny, Spectator

Sunjeev Sahota's writing is the stuff of miracles. Emotional and heartrending, China Room juggles questions of love, debt, and what it means to build a home alongside the history that carries us. China Room is a propulsive dream, intricately wrought, and Sahota is a maestro.

Bryan Washington, author of LOT and MEMORIAL

Sunjeev Sahota's The Year of the Runaways propelled him on to the 2015 Booker shortlist. His latest, China Room, a multi-generational masterpiece ... could well see him nominated again.

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

An intense drama of classic themes - love, family, survival, and betrayal - told with passion and precision in Sahota's economical, lyrical prose.

Adam Foulds, author of THE QUICKENING MAZE

An extraordinarily gifted writer... 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, New Yorker

Political currents seep subtly in and the cumulative effect is potent

Max Liu

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