Nominated by:

India International Centre Library, New Delhi

Publisher of nominated edition:

Aleph Book Company, India

Em and the Big Hoom

Jerry Pinto      

2014 Longlist

In a one-bedroom-hall-kitchen in Mahim, Bombay, Imelda Mendes – Em to her children – holds her family in thrall with her flamboyance, her compelling imagination, her unspoken love, her sometimes cruel candour. Through this, her husband, to whom she was once “buttercup”, her son and daughter learn to cope with her mania and her frequent wish to die.

A seering, and at times darkly funny study of mental illness, Jerry Pinto’s first novel is also a deeply moving story about love and family relationships.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Jerry Pinto has been a mathematics tutor, school librarian, journalist and columnist and is now associated with MelJol, an NGO that works in the sphere of child rights. His published work includes the book of poems Asylum, and Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb, which won the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema, 2007. He has also edited an anthology of writings on Goa, Reflected in Water, and co-edited (with Naresh Fernandes) a similar anthology on his native city, Bombay, Meri Jaan.

Librarian’s Comments

A book that promises to make you laugh and cry, Em and the Big Hoom is about not giving up on relationships so easily but nurturing them till they grow, until they die on their own. Jerry Pinto’s first novel is about one woman’s madness, and how it is acidic glue that scars her family but also holds it together.

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