Family Life

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Staff Reviews

This is a beautifully composed, tender, true novel. How Akhil Sharma managed to mix sadness and hope is a marvel. Family Life is a very fine novel and absorbing read. Highly recommended!

— Susan

A sad story becomes fascinating as you follow a young boy's coming of age in an immigrant family struck by tragedy.  Crisply and lovingly told, this is a tale to ponder long after it ends, not least of which because it's true.


— From Family Life


We meet the Mishra family in Delhi in 1978, where eight-year-old Ajay and his older brother Birju play cricket in the streets, waiting for the day when their plane tickets will arrive and they and their mother can fly across the world and join their father in America. America to the Mishras is, indeed, everything they could have imagined and more: when automatic glass doors open before them, they feel that surely they must have been mistaken for somebody important. Pressing an elevator button and the elevator closing its doors and rising, they have a feeling of power at the fact that the elevator is obeying them. Life is extraordinary until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother severely brain-damaged and the other lost and virtually orphaned in a strange land. Ajay, the family's younger son, prays to a God he envisions as Superman, longing to find his place amid the ruins of his family's new life.

Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393350609
ISBN-10: 0393350606
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2015
Pages: 240
Language: English
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