Amnesty

Aravind Adiga

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21 January 2021
9781509879052
272 pages
Synopsis

'[Adiga] is a startlingly fine observer . . . You come to this novel for its author's authority, wit and feeling on the subject of immigrants' lives.' - New York Times

From the bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of The White Tiger and Selection Day, Aravind Adiga, comes the story of an undocumented immigrant who becomes the only witness to a crime and must face an impossible moral dilemma.

Danny – formerly Dhananjaya Rajaratnam – is an undocumented Sri Lankan immigrant. Denied refugee status, working as a cleaner and living out of a grocery storeroom in Sydney, for four years he has been trying to create a new identity for himself, finally coming as close as he ever has to living a normal life.

One morning, Danny learns that his client Radha Thomas has been murdered. A jacket was left at the scene, which he believes belongs to another client, a doctor with whom Radha was having an affair. Suddenly Danny is confronted with a choice: Come forward as a witness and risk being deported? Or say nothing, and let justice go undone? Over the course of a single ordinary, yet extraordinary day, he must wrestle with his conscience and decide if a person without rights nevertheless has responsibilities . . .

Suspenseful, propulsive, and full of Aravind Adiga’s signature wit and magic, Amnesty is both a timeless moral struggle and a universal story with particular urgency today.

'Danny's voice, in its sheer everyday ordariness, will stay with you a long time.' - Daily Mail

'Searing . . . A tremendously humane read . . . Adiga is unwavering in the spotlight he trains on . . . a country that promises a "fair go" for all but treats its asylum seekers with hostility and contempt.' - Financial Times

The kind of sharp social anthropology at which Adiga excels . . . Brimming with empathy as well as indignation, this novel . . . extends Adiga’s fictional concern with deprivation and injustice.

Sunday Times

What makes Amnesty an urgent and significant book is the generosity and the humanity of its vision . . . Amnesty is an ample book, pertinent and necessary. It speaks to our times.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez, New York Times

A mesmerising, breakneck quest of a novel; a search for the true sense of self, for the answer to a moral dilemma which damns either way.

Andrew McMillan