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Winner of the 2014 Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Novelist Award, Inheritance is a nation’s coming-of-age story, seen through the sharp lens of a traditional Punjabi family as it gradually unravels. Set in Singapore between 1970 and 1990 Inheritance follows the familial fissures that develop after teenaged Amrit disappears. Although her absence is brief, she returns as a different person. Over two decades, as Singapore’s political, social and cultural landscapes change, the family’s attempts to cope with the shifts those coming from outside and from within lead to some disastrous consequences. With the traditional expectations of their country on the one hand, and their own volition on the other, Amrit’s family must avoid imploding. How do we confront our legacies? How do we accept change? Inheritance is a universal story of family, identity and belonging.
“Jaswal makes a debut of an imaginative boldness and assurance”–The Monthly
“This is highly recommended and will appeal to readers of novels such as Monica Ali’s Brick Lane and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. FOUR STARS”–Bookseller + Publisher Magazine
“Clear and beautiful prose, which is not only meditative but clearly renders a highly complex society at once united and divided by state control. Or in this case, the tight, inescapable bonds of family, which can be just as oppressive. A tender and enlightening read.”–Readings Monthly
“Very accomplished debut novel… The characterisation of Amrit is brilliant; an alert reader will immediately recognise what is the matter with her, but part of the family’s tragedy is that they do not.”–Kerryn Goldsworthy in The Age / Sydney Morning Herald
“Balli Kaur Jaswal skilfully traverses individual perspectives on both the larger experiences of displacement that beset migrant cultures and the insidious motives of the state… it contains a powerful indictment of modernism at all costs, in a way that might only be rendered possible through fiction.”–Melbourne Review