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China Room by Sunjeev Sahota
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China Room

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China Room by Sunjeev Sahota
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Jul 13, 2021 | ISBN 9780593402344 | 358 Minutes

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  • Jul 13, 2021 | ISBN 9780593402344

    358 Minutes

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Named a best book of the summer by TIME, Lit Hub, Book Riot, and AARP

Named a best book of July by Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, POPSUGAR, and
Apartment Therapy

“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

“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.”The Times (London)
“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.” Daily Mail (London)
“Beautifully realized. . . Sahota is a truly original novelist, his prose sparingly precise in its beauty, steeped in kindness and deep humanity.” The Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Engrossing . . . Intricate yet compact . . . the story’s deceptively placid style renders its combustible elements all the more devastating . . . [An] excellent novel.” Literary Review (London)

“Themes of freedom and imprisonment are knitted through both stories, which, despite the historical setting, are resolutely inward-looking . . . Poised and poignant, China Room is a rare novel that makes you pause in its beauty.” The Telegraph (London)

“Sahota’s beautifully crafted novel dovetails two stories from different eras… Both characters are prisoners of circumstance but, in their hunger for redemption, become emblematic of the human condition.” The Mail on Sunday (UK)

“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 . . . Sahota has demonstrated an ambitious need to adapt the specific and concrete to something less easy to pin down, complete with all the gaps and ruptures that life provides.” The Guardian (London) 

“[An] epic story about family secrets and the struggle to break free from the people and systems who try to hold others back.” POPSUGAR

“An examination of power and gender, China Room will make you reexamine a culture across time.” —

“As beautiful as it is heart-shattering.” Apartment Therapy

“Compelling and devastating . . . Through short chapters and sparse, tightly wrought prose, Sahota’s novel is both easy to read and difficult to put down. Something of a hometown hero, not only in the old steel town of Sheffield, where he currently resides, but also to British Indian and Asian writers, Sahota cements his place in a vibrant literary canon alongside Salman Rushdie, Kamila Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid, Hari Kunzru and others.” BookPage

“Mesmerizing . . . Simultaneously visceral and breathless, this is one knockout of a novel.” Booklist (starred review)

“Magnificent . . . Sahota brilliantly plays with access to knowledge, to history . . . promises to haunt and illuminate.” Shelf Awareness
China Room burns quietly but fiercely from first page to last—a gorgeous, gripping read.” —Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire

“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

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

“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

“Such a thrilling combination of beauty and heartbreak. It’s breathtaking.” —Charlotte Mendelson, author of When We Were Bad

China Room, a multi-generational masterpiece based in part on Sahota’s family history, could well see him nominated [for the Booker] again.” The Daily Mail (London), “Books to Look Out For 2021”

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