The Spoiled Heart: A Novel (Hardcover)

The Spoiled Heart: A Novel By Sunjeev Sahota Cover Image
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“The Spoiled Heart confirms Sunjeev Sahota's position as one of our essential novelists.” —Karan Mahajan, author of the National Book Award Finalist The Association of Small Bombs

A brilliant and riveting story of ambition, love, family secrets, and unintended consequences, from “bold storyteller” (The New Yorker) and two-time Booker Prize nominee Sunjeev Sahota

Nayan Olak keeps seeing Helen Fletcher around town. She’s returned with her teenage son to live in the run-down house at the end of the lane, and—though she’s strangely guarded—Nayan can’t help but be drawn to her. He hasn’t risked love since losing his young family in a terrible accident twenty years earlier.

In the wake of the tragedy, Nayan’s labor union, long a cornerstone of his community, became the center of his life: a way for him to channel his energies into making the world a better—fairer, as he sees it—place. Now, he’s decided to mount a run for the leadership. But his campaign pits him against a newcomer, Megha, who quickly proves to be a more formidable challenger than he anticipated.

As Nayan’s differences with Megha spin out of control, complicating the ideals he’s always held dear, he grows closer to Helen—and unknowingly barrels toward long-held secrets about how their pasts might be connected. Suddenly, much more is threatened than his chances of winning.

In one sense a tragedy in the classic mold, tracing one man’s seemingly inexorable fall, The Spoiled Heart is also an explosively contemporary story of how a few words or a single action—to one person careless, to another, charged—can trigger a cascade of unimaginable consequences. A vivid and multi-layered exploration of the mysteries of the heart, how community is forged and broken, and the shattering impact of secrets and assumptions alike, it is a blazing achievement from one of Britain’s foremost living writers.

About the Author

Sunjeev Sahota is the author of China Room, which was long-listed for the Booker Prize and was a finalist for the ALA Andrew Carnegie Medal; The Year of the Runaways, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize and was awarded a European Union Prize for Literature; and Ours Are the Streets. He lives in Sheffield, England, with his family.

Praise For…

Advance praise for The Spoiled Heart:

“Sahota has a surgeon’s dexterous hands, and the reader senses his confidence . . . a plot-packed, propulsive story . . . There is an easeful precision to Sahota’s prose reminiscent of Kamila Shamsie and Jhumpa Lahiri, a painful irony that evokes Percival Everett, and a grand human downfall alongside a battle of ideas that is Ibsenesque.” —The New York Times

“Some writers have a gift for making ordinary lives as compelling as anything you’d find in an epic adventure. This ability to chart the human condition goes beyond technical proficiency or what we’d generally consider literary merit. Sunjeev Sahota has this gift . . . [his] prose is as precise, confident and startlingly wise when describing the depths of tragedy as the banalities of a transaction in a local shop . . . The Spoiled Heart is one of those books that will take root quickly and grow in your soul.” —BookPage (starred review)

“[A] scruffy, passionate novel . . . The Spoiled Heart captures the brute emotional force of DEI-based politics.” —The Wall Street Journal

“[Sahota] is an enormously sensitive novelist who works assiduously to shed light on life as it is lived, his characters always tangibly real, and fully three-dimensional. The Spoiled Heart, which balances its various narratives with subtle skill and a page-turning tension.” —The i

“A beautifully constructed tale . . . Sahota fascinates with his nuanced and multifaceted depictions of race and class, and he weaves in plenty of suspense as the union election unfolds. [The Spoiled Heart] is electrifying.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Sahota delivers a viscerally charged novel . . . [with] plenty of heart and suspense.” —Booklist (starred review)

“A thoughtful exploration of race and class tensions in modern-day Britain and of the lingering effects of a long-ago tragedy . . . satisfyingly surprising.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Fearlessly contemporary and flawlessly observed, The Spoiled Heart confirms Sunjeev Sahota's position as one of our essential novelists.” —Karan Mahajan, author of the National Book Award Finalist The Association of Small Bombs

“In this thoughtful, searching excavation of interlocking tragedies and contemporary politics, Sunjeev Sahota offers us a novel at once Shakespearean and thrillingly of our time. The Spoiled Heart hurts to read, but in all the good ways.” —Sarah Thankam Mathews, author of the National Book Award Finalist All This Could Be Different

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593655986
ISBN-10: 0593655982
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English