The Abundance A Novel

Amit Majmudar

Metropolitan Books




272 Pages


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When Mala and Ronak learn that their mother has only a few months to live, they are reluctantly pulled back into the midwestern world of their Indian immigrant parents—a diaspora of prosperous doctors and engineers who have successfully managed to keep faith with the old world while claiming the prizes of the new. More successfully than their children—equally ill at ease with Holi and Christmas, bhaji and barbecue, they are mysteries to their parents and themselves.  In the short time between diagnosis and deterioration, Mala sets about learning everything she can about her mother's art of Indian cooking. Perfecting the naan and the raita, the two confront their deepest divisions and failures and learn to speak as well as cook. But when Ronak hits upon the idea of selling their experience as a book and a TV documentary, India and America, immigrant and native-born are torn as never before. With grace, acuity, and wry compassion, Amit Majmudar has written anew the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations.


Praise for The Abundance

“A wonder of lyrical and transparent writing . . . Its complexity keeps The Abundance feeling so fresh and human: We hurt even when we mean to heal.”Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A page-turner to tempt you . . . A sweet-and-spicy story of parenting across generational and cultural gaps.”Good Housekeeping

“Majmudar’s magnificent fiction debut, Partitions, investigated the wrenching moral dilemmas posed by the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947; here, he trains the same unsparing yet compassionate eye on a contemporary family in the Midwest . . . ‘This is not a book about dying,’ the narrator informs us. ‘This is a book about life.’ Indeed it is, and not life airbrushed by sentimentality, but life as it is actually experienced by flawed human beings—perfectly rendered by their gifted author. Beautifully written and deeply moving.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This heartbreakingly lovely novel evocatively captures the often contentious but ultimately loving essence of a cross-generational Indian American family . . . Majmudar, author of the highly regarded Partitions, displays an understated flair for imagery and language, communicating the significance of the ties that bind without ever resorting to mawkish sentimentality. Delectable and convincing literary fiction that subtly shines the spotlight on some basic universal truths.”Booklist

“A moving story of motherhood across cultural divides . . . Powerful in its simplicity and honesty, The Abundance reminds us of the way our roots inevitably shape our adult selves.”

Publishers Weekly


Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt



They arrive after midnight on the twenty-third. Mala had called from Indianapolis at around 10 PM and said they were having dinner at a Denny’s. I told her I would put everything in the refrigerator, it wasn’t a problem. She said she was sorry, but they had left home later than they wanted, it hadn’t been in her control, the snow had been heavy since they crossed into Indiana. The weather was clear where we were, I told her. She said yes, but it was snowing where they were, and she really had tried to get home in time.

I could tell she was

Read the full excerpt


  • Amit Majmudar

  • Amit Majmudar is the author of Partitions, chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best debut novels of 2011 and by Booklist as one of the year’s ten best works of historical fiction. His poetry has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Best American Poetry 2011. A radiologist, he lives in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Amit Majmudar Shilpa Majmudar Patel