Family Life

Family Life

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Finally joining their father in America, Ajay and Birju enjoy their new, extraordinary life until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother incapacitated and the other practically orphaned in this strange land.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393060058
Branch Call Number: FIC Sharma A
Characteristics: 218 pages : illustrations, 22 cm


From Library Staff

If you're looking for a first-generation immigrant story about brothers, check out this novel about two boys whose lives are irrevocably changed when they come to America.

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Apr 10, 2018

This short novel is a sensitive and thoughtful account of the narrator's growing up in difficult circumstances after his family immigrates from India. The descriptions of anger, shame, care and love are strong and pointed.

May 21, 2017

Great writing.

ArapahoeStaff26 May 14, 2017

Beautifully written; "compassionate but unflinching" (NYT Book Review)

Oct 19, 2015

A very sad book without intending you to feel pity. There are also a hidden moral issues not directly exposed. It is a good book for discussion groups.

Jun 21, 2015

This is a fascinating book, and very well-written, but not something to read if you are depressed.

Mar 10, 2015

Somber but sweet novel about a boy dealing with a family crisis. Several crises, actually.

Written in a simple straight forward style, Family Life is deceptive. There is much more lurking beneath the simple prose.

And that last line, I'm still working my way through it.

Mar 02, 2015

I read this book in one day. The writing was so powerful and poignant in the story of Ajay, who was born in Delhi, India, but grew up in America, that I was drawn into his life as he struggled to make a place for himself. A father who was a drunk, an older brother who required round the clock care for the rest of his life after a near drowning, a mother who took care of his invalid brother and an American culture that was so different that what his Indian heritage expected of him caused a lot of sadness as well as humor, particularly as he searched for girlfriends in high school. I was just as impressed with this book as I was with Sharma’s An Obedient Father.

multcolib_darceem Nov 28, 2014

Family life is an excruciatingly honest book. It’s insightful, funny and messy. It’s tragic and hard to pull away from. It’s a lot like family.

Oct 12, 2014

This book has an interesting style and technique - the voice of the child narrating the story flattens it out - and it has a strong impact on the reader. It is about many things - the immigrant experience, the American dream, devastation and loneliness.

manoush Oct 06, 2014

This slim novel packs a huge emotional punch. You can read it in an afternoon, it'll draw you in so thoroughly into its anguishing world that you'll find it difficult to seamlessly move back into your own reality. Most of us can't begin to fathom the experience of living with a brain-damaged sibling day in and day out. The novel chronicles what this feels like for the younger brother, how he has to handle his own emotions, make sense of his parents' reactions, and then navigate the external world of schoolmates, neighbors, acquaintances. The stricken family alternately becomes shunned and sought after simply because they have a brain-dead child. The father buckles under all the pressure and becomes an alcoholic, and the mother suffers daily heartbreak and indignity with no outlet for her own emotions save for outbursts at her younger son. The prose is spare and direct, with a cumulative power that make this an unsettling, sobering, worthwhile read.

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Jun 21, 2015

January1545 thinks this title is suitable for 19 years and over


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