An Obedient Father: A Novel

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jul 6, 2000 - Fiction - 240 pages
5 Reviews

Corrosive, funny, and frightening--one of the year's most absorbing first novels

"My general incompetence and laziness at work had been apparent for so long that I now think it was arrogant of Mr. Gupta to pick me as his money man. I am the type of person who does not make sure that a file includes all the pages it must have or that the pages are in the right order. I refuse to accept even properly placed blame, lying outright that somebody else misplaced the completed forms or spilled tea on them, even though I was the last one to sign them out, or had the soggy papers still on my desk."

As an inspector for the Physical Education Department in the Delhi school system, Ram Karan supports his widowed daughter and eight-year-old granddaughter by collecting bribes for a small-time Congress Party boss. On the eve of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, one reckless act bares the lifetime of violence and sexual shame behind Ram's dingy public career and involves him in a farcical, but terrifying, political campaign that could cost him his life.

An astonishing character study, a portrait of a family--and a country--tormented by the past, Akhil Sharma's An Obedient Father recalls Dostoyevsky's guilt-ridden anti-heroes in this fully formed debut novel.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - preetalina - LibraryThing

** spoiler alert ** I added this to my reading list ages ago and since I read Akhil Sharma's Family Life recently, I thought I might as well read this. And now that I have, I almost wish I hadn't. The ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - brangwinn - LibraryThing

This was a difficult book for me to read. But Sharma’s writing pulled me into a very sad story. A father in India molests his young daughter. As a young widow with a young daughter of her own ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

ONE
3
TWO
37
THREE
63
FOUR
110
FIVE
132
SIX
161
SEVEN
184
EIGHT
199
NINE
226
TEN
239
ELEVEN
251
TWELVE
265
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About the author (2000)

Akhil Sharma's stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker and have been included in The Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Prize collections. He is the author of An Obedient Father and Family Life. Sharma lives in New York and is an investment banker.

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