Rumi Vasi is 10 years, 4 months, 13 days, 2 hours, 42 minutes, and 6 seconds old. She’s figured that the likelihood of her walking home from school with the boy she likes, John Kemble, is 0.2142, a probability severely reduced by the lacy dress and thick wool tights her father, an Indian émigré, forces her to wear. Rumi is a gifted child, and her father believes that strict discipline is the key to nurturing her genius if the family has any hope of making a mark on its adoptive country.
Four years later, a teenage Rumi is at the center of an intense campaign by her parents to make her one of the youngest students ever to attend Oxford University. Yet Rumi is growing up like any normal teen, and her mind often drifts to potent distractions. . . .
Praise for Gifted:
“Arresting . . . [a] coming-of-age story full of the mingled love and anger that animate families of every culture . . . [Gifted] calls to mind the work of such novelists as Zadie Smith and Monica Ali.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“Lalwani has a talent for pacing and surprise, and her novel is a page-turner. . . . [She] infuses all her characters with humanity, and that makes Gifted a layered and nuanced story about the choices a family (immigrant or not) makes for a gifted child.”
“Engaging . . . Rumi is entertaining and likeable even at her angriest and most confused. And despite her cloistered life, she is also wise, knowing that her early start in college succeeded only in robbing her of her youth.”
“Poignant . . . [Lalwani] gets deep inside hyper-wound-up math prodigy Rumi Vasi.”
“Superb . . . brilliantly realized . . . The searing narrative . . . is unflinchingly and tenderly written.”
–The Independent (U.K.)
“Deeply felt . . . In this penetrating coming-of-age debut . . . Rumika Vasi struggles to fulfill her mathematical gifts and her family’s demands on them, while also finding friendship and romance.”
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2007 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2007 COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD
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