The Year of the Runaways

3.85 based on 3715 ratings & 559 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 18.06.2015
ISBN: 9781447241676
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

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 choatic 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

Richly authentic and teeming with incident . . . totally compelling.
Daily Mail
If you think literature is at its best when it combines the political with the personal, this is the perfect book for you. Sunjeev Sahota humanizes harrowing news headlines in the most intimate way; stories about migrant workers and so-called "Untouchables" are carefully captured with painterly details and empathy. The characters — three Indian men and a British-Indian woman they meet as they emigrate from India to England — lodged in my brain and stayed there, months after I put this book down to engage with others that I soon forgot . . . an important story about duty and love, beautifully told
NPR
Masterly . . . A poignant exploration of the fate of friendship and goodness in a frontier world that "makes you only care for yourself," . . . Wryly humorous . . . and moving . . . Most of all it is an honest summoning of great hardship that never entirely closes the door on possibility . . . "The Year of the Runaways" needs no affectations to announce its timeliness. As the sheer number of displaced peoples in Europe threatens to overwhelm any capacity for empathy, Mr. Sahota's superb novel helps to make the reality of migrants a little less unimaginable and a little more human.
Wall Street Journal