The Year of the Runaways

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Sunjeev Sahota author


Publisher:Pan Macmillan

Published:28th Jan '16


Available for immediate dispatch.

The Year of the Runaways cover

The heart-stopping novel from one of Granta's Best of British Novelists 2013

The heart-stopping political novel about the desperate life of illegal immigrants, from one of Granta's Best of British Novelists.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Sweeping between India and England, from childhood and the present day. Sunjeev Sahota's unforgettable novel about illegal immigrants is a story of dignity in the face of adversity. For fans of Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance.

'The Grapes of Wrath for the 21st century' – Washington Post

The Year of the Runaways tells of the bold dreams and daily struggles of an unlikely family thrown together by circumstance.

Thirteen young men live in a house in Sheffield, each in flight from India and in desperate search of a new life. Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his past in Bihar. Avtar has a secret that binds him to protect the chaotic Randeep. Randeep, in turn, has a visa-wife in a flat on the other side of town: a clever, devout woman whose cupboards are full of her husband's clothes, in case the immigration men surprise her with a call.

'A writer who knows how to make you stay up late at night to learn what happens next . . . a brilliant and beautiful novel' – author of Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie, Guardian

Sahota is a writer who knows how to turn a phrase, how to light up a scene, how to make you stay up late at night to learn what happens next. The Year of the Runaways is a brilliant and beautiful novel. -- Kamila Shamsie * Guardian *
Writing with unsentimental candor, Mr. Sahota has created a cast of characters whose lives are so richly imagined that this deeply affecting novel calls out for a sequel or follow-up that might recount the next installment of their lives. * New York Times *
An ideal antidote to a year of reductive discussions of immigration, Sunjeev Sahota's novel takes you deep into the lives of a group of Indian labourers thrown together in Sheffield . . . its lyrical prose and ability to immerse the reader in the experiences of a hidden community in Britain -- Emily Dugan * Independent on Sunday *
The Grapes of Wrath for the 21st century . . . the great marvel of this book is its absolute refusal to grasp at anything larger than the hopes and humiliations of these few marginal people. * Washington Post *
Wryly humorous . . . The Year of the Runaways needs no affectations to announce its timeliness. As the sheer number of displaced peoples in Europe threatens to overwhelm any capacity for empathy, Mr. Sahota's superb novel helps to make the reality of migrants a little less unimaginable and a little more human. * Wall Street Journal *
Novels of such scope and invention are all too rare; unusual, too, are those of real heart, whose characters you grow to love and truly care for. The Year of the Runaways has it all. You cry because of the terribleness of it, but also because you just don't want this book to end. I doubt if I'll read a better novel this year. -- Cressida Connolly * Spectator *
This massive book, stuffed with compelling stories, rich in characters and resoundingly authentic in its detailing of life in the harsh underbelly of this country, should be compulsory reading. A magnificent achievement. * Daily Mail *
The Year of the Runaways takes place in a parallel England, a near-invisible world that rarely intersects with our own. It is familiar territory from news reports, but only in outline. Sahota has a lot to say and he says it calmly, with great moral intelligence . . . deeply impressive. * Sunday Times *
A wonderfully evocative storyteller. * Independent *
A sensitive and searing novel. -- Marian Ryan * Mail on Sunday *
This is a rich, intricate, beautifully written novel, bursting and seething with energy. * The Times *
Nothing short of an asteroid impact would have made me put the book down * Irish Times *
The Year of the Runaways is never explicitly polemical, but is steered instead by humane morality. [. . .] Without flights of fancy, neither sensationalising nor preachy, its greatest asset is that it doesn't oversimplify. [. . .] Thoroughly believable, irresistibly humane and often funny. -- Lucy Daniel * Daily Telegraph *
Sahota's funny, humane second novel is certainly a book for our times. * Sunday Telegraph *
Richly authentic and teeming with incident . . . totally compelling. -- John Harding, 'The year's best novels', 2015 * Daily Mail *
Tolstoy and Steinbeck are not exaggerated comparisons for the sweep and power of Sahota’s second novel about five immigrant men living in England illegally and what they went through to get there * Boston Globe *
If you think literature is at its best when it combines the political with the personal, this is the perfect book for you. Sunjeev Sahota humanizes harrowing news headlines in the most intimate way; stories about migrant workers and so-called "Untouchables" are carefully captured with painterly details and empathy . . . an important story about duty and love, beautifully told * NPR *

  • Winner of Encore Award 2016 (UK)
  • Winner of South Bank Sky Arts Awards Literature Award 2016 (UK)
  • Short-listed for Man Booker Prize 2015 (UK)
  • Short-listed for Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2015 (UK)
  • Short-listed for International Dylan Thomas Prize 2016 (UK)

ISBN: 9781447241652

Dimensions: 197mm x 130mm x 34mm

Weight: 316g

480 pages