Picador author Rahul Bhattacharya’s first novel The Sly Company of People Who Care has been shortlisted for two major prizes.


The first is the Ondaatje prize, awarded to a “distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place”, and the second, Commonwealth Book prize for the best first book.

In The Sly Company of People Who Care, a twenty-six-year-old Indian journalist decides to give up his job and travel to Guyana, a forgotten colonial society of raw, mesmerizing beauty. But he is not just seduced by the country: he is also captivated by the feisty yet fragile Jan, and together they embark on an adventure which will take them into a new country and change both their lives. In his dazzling and ambitious debut novel, Rahul Bhattacharya has captured the heady adventures of travel, the overheated restlessness of youth, and the paradoxes of searching for life’s meaning in the escape from home.

The novel received rave reviews on its release in May 2011. The Times said, ‘His narrator has a charming, confident voice that engages instantly, and his descriptions of landscapes and people are ravishing . . . We look forward to seeing this on (at least) the Booker longlist.’ 

Our fingers are crossed for this more than deserving debut novel. Read an extract from the book here.