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China Room


 | Book Awards 2022 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)

China Room

Author: Sunjeev Sahota
Publisher: Penguin Random House India

Award Category: Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
About the Book: 

A multigenerational novel of love, oppression, trauma and the pursuit of freedom, inspired in part by the author’s own family history, China Room twines together the stories of a woman and a man separated by more than half a century but united by blood.

Mehar, a young bride in the rural Punjab of 1929, 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 puts 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.

1. This book is for all fiction lovers, especially historical fiction set in India.
2. Sunjeev Sahota was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and won the Encore Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature and the South Bank Sky Arts Award. He was chosen as one of Granta‘s Best Young British Novelists in 2013.
3. The book’s deals with the themes of oppression, women’s lives in India, arranged marriages, identity and freedom.
4. Sunjeev Sahota’s previous works include Ours Are the Streets and The Year of the Runaways.

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