A Life of Adventure and Delight (Paperback)

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July 2017 Greenlight First Editions Club Selection


A Life of Adventure and Delight delivers eight masterful stories from dazzlingly original and critically acclaimed author Akhil Sharma.

Hailed as a storyteller whose fiction is “a glowing work of art” (Wall Street Journal), Akhil Sharma is possessed of a narrative voice “as hypnotic as those found in the pages of Dostoyevsky” (The Nation). In A Life of Adventure and Delight, Sharma delivers eight masterful stories that focus on Indian protagonists at home and abroad and that plunge the reader into the unpredictable workings of the human heart. A young woman in an arranged marriage awakens one day surprised to find herself in love with her husband. A retired divorcé tries to become the perfect partner by reading women’s magazines. A man’s longstanding contempt for his cousin suddenly shifts inward when he witnesses his cousin caring for a sick woman. Tender and darkly comic, the protagonists in A Life of Adventure and Delight deceive themselves and engage in odd behaviors as they navigate how to be good, how to make meaningful relationships, and the strengths and pitfalls of self-interest. Elegantly written and emotionally immediate, the stories provide an intimate, honest assessment of human relationships between mothers and sons, sons and lovers, and husband and wives from a dazzlingly original, critically acclaimed writer.

About the Author

Akhil Sharma is the author of Family Life, a New York Times Best Book of the Year and the winner of the International DUBLIN Literary
Award and the Folio Prize. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Award Stories. A native of Delhi, he lives in New York City and teaches English at Rutgers University–Newark.


Praise For…

Focusing exclusively on Indian characters, both in Delhi and in the New York metropolitan area, [Sharma] brings a keen cultural awareness to each of these stories.… [A Life of Adventure and Delight is] perceptive, humane, and pointed.

— New York Times Book Review

[Sharma’s] stories are beautiful, deceptively simple, and potentially dangerous.
— Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer

What an exciting and original writer this is, and what a knock-out collection.
— David Sedaris, best-selling author of Naked

These stories have a psychological acuity that redeems their dark worldview.
— Kirkus Reviews

Those seeking quiet moments of revelation will find them here.
— Publishers Weekly

A melancholy and at turns tender exploration of the human psyche at its most vulnerable.
— Angel City Review

If you love short story collections, this one’s for you.… Author Akhil Sharma’s characters aren’t perfect—they wrestle with belonging, tradition, and temptation—but they’re heartbreakingly real and relatable, even at their worst.
— HelloGiggles

The stories in Akhil Sharma’s A Life of Adventure and Delight sweep across the page like monsoons—filled with energy, chaos, surprise, and rapture, they ravish and transform the very nature of reading.

— Adam Johnson, National Book Award–winning author of Fortune Smiles

Readers wade into these stories as though stepping into a calm river only to be caught by an undercurrent of the most devastating kind—the demand of everyday existence. Akhil Sharma's words touch the deep experience that often remains wordless. He is truly the Chekhov of our time.
— Yiyun Li, author of Gold Boy, Emerald Girl and The Vagrants

Akhil Sharma’s deceptively simple diction has a way of cutting straight to the human bone. The stories in A Life of Adventure and Delight are revelations, every one.

— Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls and Everybody’s Fool

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393355895
ISBN-10: 0393355896
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
Pages: 208
Language: English