OVERRIDE

An Obedient Father

Akhil Sharma

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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, An Obedient Father recalls Dostoyevsky's guilt-ridden anti-heroes in a debut that is also as fully formed as The Moviegoer.

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An Obedient Father
ONEI needed to force money from Father Joseph, and it made me nervous. He had bribed me once before, for a building permit, soon after he became principal of Rosary School. Also, he had admitted my granddaughter, Asha, into his school without our having to make the enormous donation usually required. But Father Joseph was strange and unpredictable.Several months ago, his school, in a posh part of Old Delhi, had given a dinner party to introduce him. Because of my work for the Delhi municipal education department, I was invited. During the party Father Joseph demonstrated his
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Akhil Sharma

  • 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. Sharma lives in New York and is an investment banker.
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An Obedient Father

Akhil Sharma

L.A. Times Book Prize - Finalist, Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award - Nominee, Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award - Winner
  • e-Book

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