352 pages, 8.36 × 5.37 × 0.97 in
March 26, 1999
McClelland & Stewart
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0771060572
ISBN - 13: 9780771060571
Read from the Book
The first light of morning barely illumined the sky as Gustad Noble faced eastward to offer his orisons to Ahura Mazda. The hour was approaching six, and up in the compound’s solitary tree the sparrows began to call. Gustad listened to their chirping every morning while reciting his kusti prayers. There was something reassuring about it. Always, the sparrows were first; the cawing of crows came later.From a few flats away, the metallic clatter of pots and pans began nibbling at the edges of stillness. The bhaiya sat on his haunches beside the tall aluminium can and dispensed milk into the vessels of housewives. His little measure with its long, hooked handle dipped into the container and emerged, dipped and emerged, rapidly, with scarcely a drip. After each customer was served, he let the dipper hang in the milk can, adjusted his dhoti, and rubbed his bare knees while waiting to be paid. Flakes of dry dead skin fell from his fingers. The women blenched with disgust, but the tranquil hour and early light preserved the peace.Gustad Noble eased his prayer cap slightly, away from the wide forehead with its numerous lines, until it settled comfortably on his grey-white hair. The black velvet of the cap contrasted starkly with his cinereous sideburns, but his thick, groomed moustache was just as black and velvety. Tall and broad-shouldered, Gustad was the envy and admiration of friends and relatives whenever health or sickness was being discussed. For a man swimming the tidewater
From the Publisher
It is Bombay in 1971, the year India went to war over what was to become Bangladesh. A hard-working bank clerk, Gustad Noble is a devoted family man who gradually sees his modest life unravelling. His young daughter falls ill; his promising son defies his father’s ambitions for him. He is the one reasonable voice amidst the ongoing dramas of his neighbours. One day, he receives a letter from an old friend, asking him to help in what at first seems like an heroic mission. But he soon finds himself unwittingly drawn into a dangerous network of deception. Compassionate, and rich in details of character and place, this unforgettable novel charts the journey of a moral heart in a turbulent world of change.
About the Author
Rohinton Mistry is the author of three novels, all of which have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and a collection of short stories, Tales from Firozsha Baag.
His first novel, Such a Long Journey, won the Governor General's Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, and the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award. It was made into an acclaimed feature film in 1998.
A Fine Balance was winner of the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize, the Royal Society of Literature's Winifred Holtby Award, and Denmark's ALOA Prize. It was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and the Prix Femina. In 2002, A Fine Balance was selected for Oprah’s Book Club.
Family Matters won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize for Fiction and the Canadian Authors Association Fiction Award. It was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
Born in Bombay, Rohinton Mistry has lived in Canada since 1975. He was awarded the Trudeau Fellows Prize in 2004, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009, he was a finalist for the 2011 Man Booker International Prize, and winner of the 2012 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. In translation, his work has been published in more than thirty languages.
From Our Editors
Gustad Noble is a bank clerk whose life gets swept up in the turmoil of 1971 Bombay. When his son rejects filial piety, his best friend gets him involved with political escapades and he starts questioning his own morality and rationality, he realizes the world - and his world - is changing forever. Such a Long Journey is one of the most acclaimed first novels in the English language. Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Governor General's Award for Fiction and short listed for the prestigious Booker, Rohinton Mistry is one of Canada's most gifted writers.
“Mistry is a writer of considerable achievement.…Patiently and with loving humour, [he] develops a portrait and draws his people with such care and understanding that their trials become our tragedies.”
“A seamless, gracefully written trek through a rocky period in one man’s life.…A rewarding literary excursion.”
“This fine first novel demonstrates the bright-hard reality of India’s middle class.…Mistry is a singular pleasure to read, and his description of India is a lucid, living account.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
“A passionate embracing of life in all its manifestations.”
–Books in Canada
“A rich, humane work, undoubtedly one of the best novels about India in recent years.”
–The Spectator (U.K.)
“The world of Such a Long Journey is vivid, lively, and comic – a rich and richly recreated setting.”
–Winnipeg Free Press
“Fascinating.…Mistry manages to convey a vivid picture of India through sharp affectionate sketches of Indian family life and a gift for erotic satire.”
–New York Times Book Review
“A highly poised and accomplished work.”
–The Observer (U.K.)