Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
An Obedient Father

An Obedient Father

A Novel

FSG Classics

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, Akhil Sharma's An Obedient Father recalls Dostoyevsky's guilt-ridden anti-heroes in this fully formed debut novel.

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


An Obedient Father

I 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...


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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. He is the author of An Obedient Father and Family Life. Sharma lives in New York and is an investment banker.

Akhil Sharma

Akhil Sharma

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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