Nominated by:

India International Centre Library, New Delhi, India

Publisher of nominated edition:

Picador, UK

The Sly Company of People Who Care

Rahul Bhattacharya      

2013 Longlist

In flight from the tame familiarity of home in Bombay, a twenty-six-year-old cricket journalist chucks his job and arrives in Guyana, a forgotten colonial society of raw, mesmerizing beauty. Amid beautiful, decaying wooden houses in Georgetown, on coastal sugarcane plantations, and in the dark rainforest interior scavenged by diamond hunters, he grows absorbed with the fantastic possibilities of this new place where descendants of the enslaved and indentured have made a new world. Ultimately, to fulfill his purpose, he prepares to mount an adventure of his own. His journey takes him beyond Guyanese borders, and his companion will be the feisty, wild-haired Jan.

In this dazzling novel, propelled by a singularly forceful voice, Rahul Bhattacharya captures the heady adventures of travel, the overheated restlessness of youth, and the paradoxes of searching for life’s meaning in the escape from home.

The Sly Company of People Who Care is the winner of the 2012 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the 2011 Hindu Literary Prize. It was shortlisted for 2011 The Man Asian Literary Prize and the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize, and was selected as a Kansas City Star Best Fiction Book of the Year and a Kirkus Best Fiction Book of the Year.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Born in 1979, Rahul Bhattacharya is the author of the cricket-tour book Pundits from Pakistan, which was voted one of the Ten Best Cricket Books of all time in The Wisden Cricketer (London). He lives in Delhi, India. The Sly Company of People Who Care is his first novel.

Librarian’s Comments

A novel set in Guyana by an Indian narrator conjures up a alien landscape. He makes his way through a social world dislocated by colonialism and immigration. Author’s ear for vernacular speech and narrative make this a very special.

Related Entries