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1 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

A Small Fortune

by

A Small Fortune Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An entertaining debut novel reminiscent of Zadie Smiths White Teeth that explores the lives of an extended Pakistani family of immigrants in London—all with a gently humorous touch and fond but wry eye

Harris, the presumed patriarch of his large extended family in both England and Pakistan, has unexpectedly received a “small fortune” from his divorce settlement with an English woman: £53,000. As a devout Muslim, Harris views this sum as a “burden of riches” that he must unload on someone else as quickly as possible. But deciding which relative to give it to proves to be a burden of its own, and soon he has promised it both to his extremely poor cousins in Pakistan and to his Westernized, college-student daughter. Then, in a rash bout of guilt and misunderstanding, Harris signs the entire sum away to the least deserving, most prosperous cousin of all. This solves none of his problems and creates many more, exacerbating a tricky web of familial debt and obligation on two sides of the world, until the younger generation steps in to help.

With insight, affection, and a great gift for character and story, Dastgir immerses us in a rich, beautifully drawn immigrant community and complex extended family. She considers the challenges between relatives of different cultural backgrounds, generations, and experiences—and the things they have to teach one another. A Small Fortune offers an affectionate and affecting look at class, culture, and the heartbreak of misinterpretation.

Review:

"Harris, a likable, middle-aged Pakistani émigré living in the North of England, immediately comes to life in the opening pages of this charming debut novel, as does his daughter, Alia. Unbeknownst to her father, who is separated from Alia's British mother, Alia has dropped out of med school in London and is living with her English boyfriend. Harris's shock at learning the truth about Alia's circumstances, among other emotional setbacks, creates a rift between the two that takes the rest of the novel to mend. As vividly as the book begins, however, the pace drags as members of their extended family, both in England and Pakistan, enter the narrative. While the book's strength relies on Dastgir's insightful ability to knit together distinct yet interdependent lives — and while getting acquainted with each individual does feel worthwhile — the energy of the narrative too often slows amid stilted dialogue and multiple versions of emotional indecision. Finally, when Rashid, a close family friend, gets mixed up with radical Islamists, the plot veers toward the predictable. An absorbing conclusion reveals Dastgir's talent, heart, and clear knack for pulling it all together. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A smart debut novel that explores the complexities of cultural differences, family loyalties, and what is lost in translation.

Harris, the patriarch of his large extended family in both England and Pakistan, has unexpectedly received a “small fortune” from his divorce settlement with an English woman. As a devout Muslim, Harris views this sum as a “burden of riches” that he must unload on someone else as quickly as possible. But deciding which relative to give it to proves to be a burden of its own, and soon he has promised it both to his extremely poor cousins in Pakistan and to his Westernized, college student daughter. In a rash bout of guilt and misunderstanding, Harris signs the entire sum away to the least deserving, most prosperous cousin of all, exacerbating a tricky web of familial debt and obligation on two sides of the world.

With insight, affection, and a great gift for character and story, Rosie Dastgir immerses us in a rich, beautifully drawn immigrant community and a complex extended family. She considers the challenges between relatives of different cultural backgrounds, generations, and experiences—and the things they have to teach one another. A Small Fortune offers an affecting look at class, culture, and the heartbreak of misinterpretation.

About the Author

Rosie Dastgir was born in England to a Pakistani father and an English mother. She was educated at Oxford University and received an MFA in film from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594488108
Author:
Dastgir, Rosie
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120524
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

A Small Fortune Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$21.00 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594488108 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Harris, a likable, middle-aged Pakistani émigré living in the North of England, immediately comes to life in the opening pages of this charming debut novel, as does his daughter, Alia. Unbeknownst to her father, who is separated from Alia's British mother, Alia has dropped out of med school in London and is living with her English boyfriend. Harris's shock at learning the truth about Alia's circumstances, among other emotional setbacks, creates a rift between the two that takes the rest of the novel to mend. As vividly as the book begins, however, the pace drags as members of their extended family, both in England and Pakistan, enter the narrative. While the book's strength relies on Dastgir's insightful ability to knit together distinct yet interdependent lives — and while getting acquainted with each individual does feel worthwhile — the energy of the narrative too often slows amid stilted dialogue and multiple versions of emotional indecision. Finally, when Rashid, a close family friend, gets mixed up with radical Islamists, the plot veers toward the predictable. An absorbing conclusion reveals Dastgir's talent, heart, and clear knack for pulling it all together. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
A smart debut novel that explores the complexities of cultural differences, family loyalties, and what is lost in translation.

Harris, the patriarch of his large extended family in both England and Pakistan, has unexpectedly received a “small fortune” from his divorce settlement with an English woman. As a devout Muslim, Harris views this sum as a “burden of riches” that he must unload on someone else as quickly as possible. But deciding which relative to give it to proves to be a burden of its own, and soon he has promised it both to his extremely poor cousins in Pakistan and to his Westernized, college student daughter. In a rash bout of guilt and misunderstanding, Harris signs the entire sum away to the least deserving, most prosperous cousin of all, exacerbating a tricky web of familial debt and obligation on two sides of the world.

With insight, affection, and a great gift for character and story, Rosie Dastgir immerses us in a rich, beautifully drawn immigrant community and a complex extended family. She considers the challenges between relatives of different cultural backgrounds, generations, and experiences—and the things they have to teach one another. A Small Fortune offers an affecting look at class, culture, and the heartbreak of misinterpretation.

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