12 June 2012

Today's Imprint Read: A Small Fortune by Rosie Dastgir

What if you received an unexpected chunk of money? Would you spend it on yourself? Now suppose you were brought up Muslim and the money came from a divorce settlement. Now what? Would you feel compelled to give it away like Harris did?

In the murky streaks of daybreak, he thought of Alia—his only child, his best hope, the light of his life. During term time, she seldom visited him up here in his house at the end of the North wind, and after their summer trip together, he felt her absence more keenly than ever. He had an idea, a proposition for her, that would mean going to see her. . . .

The act of fleeing his house never failed to lift his spirits. The world unspooling outside the window as he sped down the M1 gave him a sense of purpose and progress. It was a four-hour drive to London and he usually brought his own food on motor trips. Not because he was fearful of encountering non-halal food—unlike the northern cousins, who took a hard line on such things—but rather because he loathed spending money on the rubbery fry-ups they served in motorway service stations. The curry he had brought along sloshed messily on the seat beside him. . . . (p. 16)
A Small Fortune: A Novel by Rosie Dastgir (Penguin USA / Riverhead Books, 2012; quote is from uncorrected proofs and may differ in the published edition)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: England, Pakistan
  • Circumstances: Harris unexpectedly receives £53,000 from his divorce settlement and is uneasy because the Koran says it's wrong to hoard money when others are in need
  • Characters: Harris, who emigrated from Pakistan when he married an English woman; Alia, his daughter who was born and raised in England; various Pakistani relatives
  • Main themes: duty, family, immigration, class and culture conflicts, love, charity
  • Genre: literary fiction

Want to Know More? Author Rosie Dastgir talked with Poets & Writers about what inspires her. She also has conducted a number of interviews, such as those with Metro and with Awaaz, in which she talks about family, her book, her influences, and more. For more about Dastgir, visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page. The publisher's website includes reviews, a biography, and information about the different media and editions. For more Riverhead Books and for news about events and great books, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

16 comments:

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide 6/12/12, 7:10 AM  

This sound interesting.

My teaser is up.

Care 6/12/12, 8:53 AM  

And I like the cover. Sounds interesting and thoughtful. I don't think I've ever really paid attention to your Quick Facts - I like.

Care 6/12/12, 8:55 AM  

oh, one more thing: I credit you for making me aware of imprints. I believe it was a Riverhead feature, even, because I was reading a Riverhead at the time! (Fingersmith, I think)

bermudaonion 6/12/12, 9:08 AM  

This sounds like it would be great for a book club - lots to discuss.

Tea 6/12/12, 9:28 AM  

It does sound different.

David 6/12/12, 9:38 AM  

Rosie Dastgir also wrote a Book Notes music playlist essay for the book:

http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2012/05/book_notes_rosi.html

Beth F 6/12/12, 9:41 AM  

@David: cool! Thanks for the link

gautami tripathy 6/12/12, 10:59 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow 6/12/12, 11:04 AM  

Oh, I like the sound of this one. Now I'm curious as to what I'd do with an "unexpected" lump sum. I know that my grown kids would be standing with their hands out, though...lol

Here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

JLS Hall 6/12/12, 12:37 PM  

Very intriguing. Definitely want to know more about this one, and its author. But I'm pretty sure I'd be perfectly willing to accept the money!

My teaser: Skios

Sandy Nachlinger 6/12/12, 1:12 PM  

This is a great scene. I can just see him tooling down the highway with his food on the seat next to him. This sounds like a book I'd love.
My teaser this week is from The Lie.

Alice Audrey 6/12/12, 2:10 PM  

I can't even imagine being in that situation.

Julie P. 6/13/12, 3:38 PM  

I'm feeling a little bit neglectful that I hadn't heard of this book earlier!

FABR Steph 6/13/12, 5:48 PM  

Thank you for introducing me to this book. It sounds like a fascinating read. I am not sure what I would do with an unexpected sum of money, but I would be willing to figure it out. - FABR Steph

picky 6/14/12, 1:52 PM  

This sounds so interesting! I teach a lot of Muslim students, so as soon as I read the questions at the beginning, I was hooked. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

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