December 9, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Family Life by Akhil Sharma review – an unhappy emigration

1 min read

A troubled story about the loneliness and despair of an Indian family whose American dream turns sour: Kristy Gunn in The Guardian

Family_lifeWhat might it be like to be a member of a poor family living in Delhi that has emigrated to America? What job might your father do there? Where might you live? Family Life, the second widely acclaimed novel from the Indian-American writer Akhil Sharma, answers these questions. Look, every page seems to say: this is our apartment; this is what we eat. Listen, it says, how different it is here. And so we look and learn, while, in simple, straightforward prose, Family Life lays out a story of unbearable loss and estrangement. For not only is this novel about leaving a homeland for a new world in which nothing is like home, it is about another kind of migration altogether, which takes a family from everyday reality into a dark, secret place where grief has enclosed them.

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