Family Life (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Akhil Sharma says that he hopes this, his newest novel, based largely on his own life experience, is thought of as "a rigorous modern story of the childhood self that deals specifically with the Indian immigrant experience," and yes, it is that, especially if 'rigor' suggests the serious work of constructing a seamless, stunning, and darkly funny narrative; but this book can also be described as the tender story of a modest, ambitious family that falls suddenly into the despair of having a child with a permanent, devastating injury, of living with No hope, and of needing to move on Together as only a Family Life demands.

— From Joanna


Known for his "cunning, dismaying and beautifully conceived" fiction (New York Times), Akhil Sharma delivers a story of astonishing intensity and emotional precision.

Growing up in Delhi in 1978, eight-year-old Ajay Mishra and his older brother Birju play cricket on the streets, eagerly waiting for the day they can join their father in America. America to the Mishras is, indeed, everything they could have imagined and more--until tragedy strikes. Young Ajay prays to a God he envisions as Superman, searching for direction amid the ruins of his family's new life. Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393060058
ISBN-10: 0393060055
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 7th, 2014
Pages: 218
Language: English