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Family Mattersby Rohinton Mistry
Synopses & Reviews
Family Matters is Rohinton Mistry’s eagerly anticipated third novel, following the success of his highly acclaimed A Fine Balance (1995), which won several major literary awards internationally.
This new novel takes us to Bombay in the mid-1990s. Nariman Vakeel is a seventy-nine-year-old Parsi widower and the patriarch of a small discordant family. Beset by Parkinson’s disease and haunted by memories of the past, he lives in a once-elegant apartment with his two middle-aged stepchildren – Coomy, bitter and domineering, and her brother, Jal, mild-mannered and acquiescent. When Nariman’s illness is compounded by a broken ankle, Coomy plots to turn his round-the-clock care over to Roxana, his sweet-tempered sister. She succeeds, but not without cost, and eventually Nariman takes up residence with Roxana, her husband, Yezad, and their two young sons. The effect of the new responsibility on Yezad, who is already besieged by financial worries, pushes him into a scheme of deception involving Vikram Kapur, his eccentric, often exasperating employer at Bombay Sporting Goods Emporium. This sets in motion a series of events – a great unravelling and a revelation of the family’s love-torn past – that leads to the narrative’s final outcome.
In this wise and compassionate novel, Mistry has once again created a beautifully realized world. As his unforgettable characters confront situations over which they have no control, their tragedies and their triumphs ultimately become our own.
Family Matters has all the richness, the gentle humour, and the narrative sweep that have earned Rohinton Mistry the highest of accolades around the world. It is a stunning achievement from one of the finest writers of our time.
From the Hardcover edition.
"The reader is moved, even to tears, by these rites of passage among characters we have lived with long enough to feel as family....The exercise of compassion, by the writer and then by the reader, remains one of the novel's chief duties and complex pleasures." John Updike, The New Yorker
"His prose style is as clear as a pane of newly polished glass." The Economist
About the Author
Rohinton Mistry’s most recent work of fiction was A Fine Balance (1995). It won many prestigious awards, including The Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. His previous novel, Such a Long Journey (1991), won the Governor General’s Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, and the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was made into an acclaimed feature film in 1998. Mistry’s first work of fiction, a collection of short stories, Tales from Firozsha Baag, was published in 1987.
Born in Bombay, Rohinton Mistry has lived in Canada since 1975.
From the Hardcover edition.
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