China Room

China Room

The heartstopping and beautiful novel, longlisted for the Booker Prize 2021


In 1929 young bride Mehar struggles with her family’s expectations whilst seventy years later her great-grandson discovers what her story can teach him about his own path.

'A gorgeous, gripping read' Kamila Shamsie
'A multi-generational masterpiece' Daily Mail

Mehar, a young bride in rural Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. It is 1929, and she and her sisters-in-law - married to three brothers in a single ceremony - spend their days hard at work on the family farm, 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 flees from England to the deserted sun-scorched farm. Can a summer spent learning of love and of his family's past give him the strength for the journey home?

Readers love China Room
***** 'I didn't want it to end'
***** 'What. A. Book.'
***** 'Beautifully crafted...a story as old as time'
***** 'A novel of thwarted loves'

Shortlisted for the 2022 Rathbones Folio Prize
Longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize

'Amazing storytelling...gripping and very moving' BBC Radio 4, Open Book

'I'm blown away by it' Tessa Hadley

'Moving...fresh and nourishing' The Times


  • Sunjeev Sahota's writing is the stuff of miracles. Emotional and heartrending, China Room juggles questions of love, debt, and what it means to build a home alongside the history that carries us. China Room is a propulsive dream, intricately wrought, and Sahota is a maestro.
    Bryan Washington, author of LOT and MEMORIAL

About the author

Sunjeev Sahota

Sunjeev Sahota is the highly acclaimed author of Ours Are the Streets, The Year of the Runaways and China Room. The Year of the Runaways was shortlisted for the 2015 Booker Prize and the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and won the Encore Prize, the South Bank Sky Arts Award, and the European Union Prize for Literature. China Room was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. Sahota was chosen as one of the Granta Best of Young British Novelists 2013 and is a fellow of the RSL. He lives in Sheffield and teaches at Durham University. The Spoiled Heart is his fourth novel.
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