Author: Rupa Bajwa
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143031581
A novel about the stuff life's made of
It is another working day in Amritsar, and Ramchand is late again. He runs through the narrow streets to Sevak Sari House, buried in the heart of one of the city's main bazaars. There, amongst the Bangladesh cottons and Benaras silks, Ramchand and his fellow shop assistants sit all day, patiently rolling and unrolling yards of coloured fabric.
Then, one afternoon, Ramchand is sent to a new part of the city with a bundle of saris carefully selected for a trousseau. His trip to Kapoor House jolts him out of the rhythm of his daily routine and his glimpse into this different world charges him with an urgent sense of possibility.
And so, armed with a second-hand English grammar book and a battered Oxford Dictionary, a fresh pair of socks and a bar of Lifebuoy soap, Ramchand attempts to realize the dream that his childhood had promised. But soon these efforts turn his life upside down, bringing him face to face with the cruel reality of his very existence.
The Sari Shop heralds the arrival of a writer who combines a profound sensitivity with humour and unflinching honesty. Rupa Bajwa's story is both heartbreaking and very real, and depicts a modern world in which hope and violence are permanently entwined.
'''In this simple yet ambitious and compelling debut, Rupa Bajwa reaches for—and captures—the very soul of India.'''
— Manil Suri, author of The Death of Vishnu
'''Bajwa shows a remarkable felicity with words, tautness in narration and this great ability to get under the skin of her characters.'''
— The Hindustan Times
'''…Bajwa’s is a stunning debut.'''
'''…Bajwa is excellent on ordinary people going about their business…all praise to the author…'''
'''The Sari Shop is a quiet and assured debut.'''
'''Rupa Bajwa tells a good story in this unpretentious novel that presents a multilingual, multicultural reality, rife with humour and irony.'''
— India Today
'''Rupa Bajwa has a great deal going for her – a sound instinct for storytelling, an unconstrained relationship with the language and a flair for detail'''
— The Hindu
‘Rupa is blessed with gift for words and craftsmanship required to write a highly readable novel’
– Khushwant Singh