On Sale: July 24, 2018
Hardcover / e-Book
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Recalling contemporary classics such as Americanah,
Behold the Dreamers, and The Brief Wondrous Life of
Oscar Wao, a funny, poignant, and insightful debut
novel that explores the complexities of family, immigration,
prejudice, and the American Dream through meaningful and
unlikely friendships forged in unusual
Pival Sengupta has done something she
never expected: she has booked a trip with the First Class
India USA Destination Vacation Tour Company. But unlike
other upper-class Indians on a foreign holiday, the recently
widowed Pival is not interested in sightseeing. She is
traveling thousands of miles from Kolkota to New York on a
cross-country journey to California, where she hopes to
uncover the truth about her beloved son, Rahi. A year ago
Rahi devastated his very traditional parents when he told
them he was gay. Then, Pival's husband, Ram, told her that
their son had died suddenly—heartbreaking news she still
refuses to accept. Now, with Ram gone, she is going to
America to find Rahi, alive and whole or dead and gone, and
come to terms with her own life.
Arriving in New
York, the tour proves to be more complicated than
anticipated. Planned by the company's indefatigable owner,
Ronnie Munshi—a hard-working immigrant and entrepreneur
hungry for his own taste of the American dream—it is a work
of haphazard improvisation. Pavil's guide is the company's
new hire, the guileless and wonderfully resourceful Satya,
who has been in America for one year—and has never actually
left the five boroughs. For modesty's sake Pival and Satya
will be accompanied by Rebecca Elliot, an aspiring young
actress. Eager for a paying gig, she's along for the ride,
because how hard can a two-week "working" vacation
traveling across America be?
Slowly making her way
from coast to coast with her unlikely companions, Pival
finds that her understanding of her son—and her hopes of a
reunion with him—are challenged by her growing knowledge of
his adoptive country. As the bonds between this odd trio
deepens, Prival, Satya, and Rebecca learn to see America—and
themselves—in different and profound new ways.
bittersweet and bighearted tale of forgiveness, hope, and
acceptance, America for Beginners illuminates the
unexpected enchantments life can hold, and reminds us that
our most precious connections aren't always the ones we seek.
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