Released on 18 June 2015.

Read extract

The Year of the Runaways

3.85 based on 4476 ratings & 632 reviews on

2016 Winner

Encore Award

2016 Short-listed

International Dylan Thomas Prize

2016 Winner

South Bank Sky Arts Awards Literature Award

2015 Short-listed

Man Booker Prize

2015 Short-listed

Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award


Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015

'A brilliant and beautiful novel' Kamila Shamsie, Guardian

'The Grapes of Wrath for the 21st century' Washington Post

The Year of the Runaways tells of the bold dreams and daily struggles of an unlikely family thrown together by circumstance. Thirteen young men live in a house in Sheffield, each in flight from India and in desperate search of a new life. Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his past in Bihar; and Avtar has a secret that binds him to protect the chaotic Randeep. Randeep, in turn, has a visa-wife in a flat on the other side of town: a clever, devout woman whose cupboards are full of her husband's clothes, in case the immigration men surprise her with a call.

Sweeping between India and England, and between childhood and the present day, Sunjeev Sahota's generous, unforgettable novel is – as with Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance – a story of dignity in the face of adversity and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

In the media

The Year of the Runaways is never explicitly polemical, but is steered instead by humane morality. [. . .] Without flights of fancy, neither sensationalising nor preachy, its greatest asset is that it doesn't oversimplify. [. . .] Thoroughly believable, irresistibly humane and often funny.
Daily Telegraph
Sahota's funny, humane second novel is certainly a book for our times.
Sunday Telegraph
Richly authentic and teeming with incident . . . totally compelling.
Daily Mail