China Room.  Sunjeev Mahota

China Room. Sunjeev Mahota

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Longlisted for Booker Prize 2021, China Room is a literary masterpiece, inspired by real-life events, from award winning author Sunjeev Sahota

‘Sunjeev Sahota’s writing is the stuff of miracles’ – Bryan Washington

‘A gorgeous, gripping read’ – Kamila Shamsie

‘I’m blown away by it. I was gripped from the first page to the last’ – Tessa Hadley

‘Such a thrilling combination of beauty and heartbreak. It’s breathtaking’ – Charlotte Mendelson

‘An intense drama of classic themes – love, family, survival, and betrayal – told with passion and precision in Sahota’s economical, lyrical prose. China Room is a brilliant novel. I won’t forget any of these characters’Adam Foulds

A multigenerational novel of love, oppression, trauma and the pursuit of freedom, inspired in part by the author’s own family history, China Room twines together the stories of a woman and a man separated by more than half a century but united by blood.

Mehar, a young bride in the rural Punjab of 1929, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. She and her sisters-in-law, married to three brothers in a single ceremony, spend their days hard at work in the family’s ‘china room’, sequestered from contact with the men. When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that puts more than one life at risk.

Spiralling around Mehar’s story is that of a young man who, in 1999, travels from England to the now-deserted farm, its ‘china room’ locked and barred. In enforced flight from the traumas of his adolescence-his experiences of addiction, racism and estrangement from the culture of his birth-he spends a summer in painful contemplation and recovery, before finally finding the strength to return home.