Book Talk: Amnesty: A Novel by Aravind Adiga
"A riveting, suspenseful, and exuberant novel from the bestselling, Man Booker Prize–winning author of The White Tiger and Selection Day about a young illegal immigrant who must decide whether to report crucial information about a murder—and thereby risk deportation.
About the Book
Danny—formerly Dhananjaya Rajaratnam—is an illegal immigrant in Sydney, Australia, denied refugee status after he fled from Sri Lanka. Working as a cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for three years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself. And now, with his beloved vegan girlfriend, Sonja, with his hidden accent and highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal life.
But then one morning, Danny learns a female client of his has been murdered. The deed was done with a knife, at a creek he’d been to with her before; and a jacket was left at the scene, which he believes belongs to another of his clients—a doctor with whom Danny knows the woman was having an affair. Suddenly Danny is confronted with a choice: Come forward with his knowledge about the crime and risk being deported? Or say nothing, and let justice go undone? Over the course of this day, evaluating the weight of his past, his dreams for the future, and the unpredictable, often absurd reality of living invisibly and undocumented, he must wrestle with his conscience and decide if a person without rights still has responsibilities.
Propulsive, insightful, and full of Aravind Adiga’s signature wit and magic, Amnesty is both a timeless moral struggle and a universal story with particular urgency today.
Reviews and What Readers Say
"I like to read Adiga’s novels almost as much as the poet James Dickey liked to drink. He has more to say than most novelists, and about 50 more ways to say it… Adiga is a startlingly fine observer, and a complicator, in the manner of V.S. Naipaul… Reading him you get a sense of having your finger on the planet’s pulse… This novel has a simmering plot…[but] you come to this novel for other reasons, notably for its author’s authority, wit and feeling on the subject of immigrants’ lives… Keep reading." —The New York Times
“ Like Valeria Luiselli in Lost Children Archive, Adiga bears witness to the disruption, pain, and hardship inherent in needing to leave one’s country and find refuge elsewhere. Highly recommended." —Library Journal
“ Engrossing...vivid...Adiga’s enthralling depiction of one immigrant’s tough situation humanizes a complex and controversial global dilemma.” —Publishers Weekly
“ Adiga's facility for the cadence and vernacular of street talk and self-talk gives voice, literally, to figures that are often unheard. ” —Shelf Awareness
Note: To order, please click here
Aravind Adiga was born in India in 1974 and attended Columbia and Oxford universities. He is the author of the novels Amnesty; Selection Day, now a series on Netflix; The White Tiger, which won the Man Booker Prize; and the story collection Between the Assassinations. He lives in Mumbai, India.