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Marginalia: Sunjeev Sahota On 'China Room'

Simon Revill
Sunjeev Sahota

Partly inspired by his family’s history, Sunjeev Sahota’s novel, China Room, begins in 1929 Punjab, when three young women are married to three brothers in a single ceremony. As the women work hard on the family farm, from beneath their veils they try to piece together which brother is their husband.

Spiraled among this story are two other timelines, one in 1999, when the great-grandson of one of the brides returns to the family farm to fight an addiction, and 2019, when that same great-grandson returns to his parents home to write the story.

I recently spoke with Sunjeev Sahota from his home in London about this novel based on his fascinating family legend.


China Room by Sunjeev Sahota was published by Viking.

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Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita.

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Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.