The books that inspired Sunjeev SahotaBy Vintage
To celebrate publication of his breathtaking new novel China Room, Booker-shortlisted author Sunjeev Sahota, shares some of the books which have inspired him.
'Sunjeev Sahota's writing is the stuff of miracles' Bryan Washington
'A gorgeous, gripping read' Kamila Shamsie
Mehar, a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. She and her sisters-in-law, married to three brothers in a single ceremony, spend their days hard at work in the family's 'china room', sequestered from contact with the men. When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk.
Spiralling around Mehar's story is that of a young man who in 1999 travels from England to the now-deserted farm, its 'china room' locked and barred. In enforced flight from the traumas of his adolescence – his experiences of addiction, racism, and estrangement from the culture of his birth – he spends a summer in painful contemplation and recovery, finally gathering the strength to return home.
Sunjeev Sahota£16.99 £16.14
J L Carr£8.99 £8.54
I've always adored this short novel about the care afforded to outsiders. What a rare and uncommon book it is.
Jose Saramago£9.99 £9.49
Saramago is a real favourite of mine and the idea of the double, or the doppelgänger, was there when I was first thinking of my novel; arguably, it was still there at the end, too.