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The Best Possible Experience by Nishanth Injam
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The Best Possible Experience

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The Best Possible Experience by Nishanth Injam
Paperback $17.00
Jul 16, 2024 | ISBN 9780593470237

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    Jul 16, 2024 | ISBN 9780593470237

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    Jul 11, 2023 | ISBN 9780593317693

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  • Jul 11, 2023 | ISBN 9780593680650

    431 Minutes

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Longlisted for the 2024 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Longlisted for The Story Prize 

Named a Best Book of the Year by the Chicago Review of Books
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
An NPR Book of the Week

Publishers Weekly Book of the Week

“Stunning…Injam’s narratives strike a perfect balance of darkness and light.”
New York Times Book Review

“So rich and so beautiful.”
Sacha Pfeiffer, NPR’s “Weekend Edition”

“Hilarious, heartrending, and wise, Nishanth Injam’s stories made me want to cast all else aside and return home.”
Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning

The Best Possible Experience is a full-hearted, brilliant debut full of necessary beauty. Injam writes of longing, of love, of home and of the Indian diaspora, and as one reads the stories, they find that together they create an epic mosaic of life.”
—Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, New York Times-bestselling author of Friday Black and Chain-Gang All-Stars

“In Nishanth Injam’s enthralling, deeply intimate stories, characters contend with what it takes to survive grief, heartbreak, disappointment, another culture, and each other. Full of surprises and truly breathtaking moments, this is an exquisite debut!”
Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“In these wise, intricate stories, Nishanth Injam shows us, with lancing clarity, the shame and embarrassment of immigration, the ways in which relationships form and dissolve around silences. His is an arresting new voice in contemporary Indian—and American—fiction.”
Karan Mahajan, author of Association of Small Bombs

“The stories in The Best Possible Experience paint a gorgeous and devastating portrait of what it costs, literally and psychically, to make a new life away from home. Nishanth Injam has a gift for capturing complex characters facing the unsettling strangeness of unfamiliar places and increasingly unfamiliar selves. This is a graceful and sophisticated debut from a wonderful new writer.”
—Danielle Evans, author of The Office of Historical Corrections

“These hauntingly beautiful stories of arrivals and departures, of love and loss, are a reminder of the transporting power of fiction. The Best Possible Experience is quite possibly the best debut collection of the year.”
—Peter Ho Davies, author of A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

“An emotionally rich collection of short stories that paint a fascinating portrait of contemporary India and its diaspora. Nishanth Injam’s stories prod at our understanding of home and departure with a classical elegance and modern eye. Beautiful at both the individual and collective levels, The Best Possible Experience is truly a profound debut.”
Chicago Review of Books,
“12 Must Read Books of July 2023”

“Alive with vivid, vibrant, and affecting writing…powerful portrait…This collection is truly a can’t-miss release.”
Chicago Review of Books, “The Most Anticipated Chicago Books of 2023”

“Injam’s sparse language and attention to detail render the subtlest conflicts with tenderness and care…We witness a spectrum of social classes, castes, religions, and other identities clashing and interacting in these short stories. Just as there is no one way to be Indian, Injam demonstrates that there is no one way to depict the tenuous relationship between home and migration, or between necessary phases of growth and change.”
Chicago Review of Books, “Transition as Entry Point in The Best Possible Experience

“Stunning…The Best Possible Experience is not just a story collection about immigration or immigrants, but about our capacity to feel, to tap into the deepest parts of ourselves, and an exploration of what we find in those depths.”
Chicago Review of Books, “The Oceans Inside of You: A Conversation with Nishanth Injam”
“Dynamic and insightful…Injam succeeds in equal measure with the variety of styles, and he offers enriching details about the various experiences his characters face as immigrants and offshore workers. This is a triumph.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Perceptive and penetrating…A quietly powerful look at a fundamental human desire—for a sense of home, a place to belong…Injam compares and contrasts his many characters, their situations and experiences—specifically, what constitutes home for them and how they cope. Masterful descriptions convey their heart-rending memories and hard-hitting emotions. An enlightening collection full of cultural and societal insights, The Best Possible Experience is a must for readers who loved Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Samanta Schweblin’s Seven Empty Houses.”
BookPage, starred review

“Eleven gems make up Injam’s stellar debut short-story collection showcasing exquisite quotidian beauty haunted by seemingly inevitable loss…“The Best Possible Experience,” which proves to be exactly what Injam provides lucky readers.”
Booklist, starred review

“Vivid examples of the emotional price relocation extracts from individuals leaving their homes for better prospects…What marks this well-crafted collection of stories as special is its candidness, as well as, the maturity of the author’s voice.”
Money Control

“Meticulously crafted narratives…Eloquent meditations on grief…An array of characters and circumstances that capture contemporary concerns with grace; the language, well-rendered details, and strong story structures combine to deliver revelations. Injam’s title story, in particular, is a testament to his command of the short form.”


PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction LONGLIST 2024

The Story Prize LONGLIST 2024

Table Of Contents

The Bus 3
Come with Me 18
The Immigrant 34
Summers of Waiting 59
Lunch at Paddy’s 88
Sunday Evening with Ice Cream 106
The Protocol 128
The Math of Living 151
The Zamindar’s Watch 157
The Sea 179
Best Possible Experience 190
Acknowledgments 211

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