Family Life

Family Life

A Novel

Book - 2014
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We meet the Mishra family in Delhi, India in 1978 where Ajay and 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. Once there, Ajay and Birju enjoy their new, extraordinary life in New York. Then tragedy strikes, leaving one brother incapacitated and the other practically orphaned in this 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. This is the universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival. -- From book jacket.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393060058
0393060055
Branch Call Number: FICTION SHARMA 2014
Characteristics: 218 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

A tragic accident highlights the pain, humor and conflicted relationships for one immigrant family.

The Mishras move from India to New York City in the 1980s to provide a better life for the two sons. When bright Birju suffers a brain injury that will require life-long care, the family tries to adapt to the tragic circumstances while floundering in the strangeness of a new culture.

Comment
multcolib_darceem Nov 28, 2014

Family life is an excruciatingly honest book. It’s insightful, funny and messy. It’s tragic and hard to pull away from. It’s a lot like family.


From the critics


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b
blue_41
Apr 10, 2018

This short novel is a sensitive and thoughtful account of the narrator's growing up in difficult circumstances after his family immigrates from India. The descriptions of anger, shame, care and love are strong and pointed.

m
mclarjh
May 21, 2017

Great writing.

ArapahoeAnnaL May 14, 2017

Beautifully written; "compassionate but unflinching" (NYT Book Review)

b
BPLfaith
Jan 05, 2016

Started reading and didn't have time to finish, couldn't concentrate, medical problems.
Jan 2016

e
empbee
Oct 19, 2015

A very sad book without intending you to feel pity. There are also a hidden moral issues not directly exposed. It is a good book for discussion groups.

j
January1545
Jun 21, 2015

This is a fascinating book, and very well-written, but not something to read if you are depressed.

k
ktallent
Mar 10, 2015

Somber but sweet novel about a boy dealing with a family crisis. Several crises, actually.

Written in a simple straight forward style, Family Life is deceptive. There is much more lurking beneath the simple prose.

And that last line, I'm still working my way through it.

b
brangwinn
Mar 02, 2015

I read this book in one day. The writing was so powerful and poignant in the story of Ajay, who was born in Delhi, India, but grew up in America, that I was drawn into his life as he struggled to make a place for himself. A father who was a drunk, an older brother who required round the clock care for the rest of his life after a near drowning, a mother who took care of his invalid brother and an American culture that was so different that what his Indian heritage expected of him caused a lot of sadness as well as humor, particularly as he searched for girlfriends in high school. I was just as impressed with this book as I was with Sharma’s An Obedient Father.

multcolib_darceem Nov 28, 2014

Family life is an excruciatingly honest book. It’s insightful, funny and messy. It’s tragic and hard to pull away from. It’s a lot like family.

u
uncommonreader
Oct 12, 2014

This book has an interesting style and technique - the voice of the child narrating the story flattens it out - and it has a strong impact on the reader. It is about many things - the immigrant experience, the American dream, devastation and loneliness.

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January1545
Jun 21, 2015

January1545 thinks this title is suitable for 19 years and over

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