Family Life - Akhil Sharma, Author - PW
There are lovely scenes of their life in Delhi before they leave, the mother making wicks from the cotton in pill bottles, the parade of neighbors when their plane tickets to America arrive. Sharma captures the experience for Ajay of being transported to a different country: the thrill of limitless hot water flowing from a tap; the trauma of bullies at school; the magic of snow falling; watching Birju, the favored son, studying hours each day and spending entire weekends preparing for the entrance exam at the prestigious Bronx High School of Science.
Then a terrible tragedy irreparably alters the family and their fortunes. Sharma skillfully uses this as another window into the Indian way of accepting and dealing with life. A loving portrait, both painful and honest. (Apr.)