A Guardian, Financial Times, The Millions, Vulture, and Buzzfeed’s Most Anticipated of 2020
‘An immigrant’s view conveyed with authority and wit . . . Adiga is a startlingly fine observer, and a complicator, in the manner of V.S. Naipaul.’ New York Times
From the bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of The White Tiger and Selection Day, Aravind Adiga, comes the story of an undocumented immigrant who becomes the only witness to a crime and must face an impossible moral dilemma.
Danny – Dhananjaya Rajaratnam – is an undocumented immigrant in Sydney, denied refugee status after he has fled from his native Sri Lanka. Working as a cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for three years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself. And now, with his beloved vegan girlfriend, Sonja, with his hidden accent and highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal Australian life.
But then one morning, Danny learns a female client of his has been murdered. When Danny recognizes a jacket left at the murder scene, he believes it belongs to another of his clients – a doctor with whom he knows the woman was having an affair. Suddenly Danny is confronted with a choice: come forward with his knowledge about the crime and risk being deported, or say nothing, and let justice go undone? Over the course of a single day, evaluating the weight of his past, his dreams for the future, and the unpredictable, often absurd reality of living invisibly and undocumented, he must wrestle with his conscience and decide if a person without rights still has responsibilities.
Suspenseful, propulsive, and full of Aravind Adiga’s signature wit and magic, Amnesty is both a timeless moral struggle and a universal story with particular urgency today.
A forceful, urgent thriller for our times * Lit Hub * Adiga is one of the great observers of power and its deformities, showing in novels like his Booker Prize winning White Tiger and Last Man in Tower how within societies, the powerful lean on the less powerful, and the weak exploit the weaker all the way down. Telling the tale of Danny's immigration along the story of one tense day, he has built a forceful, urgent thriller for our times. -- John Freeman * Lit Hub * Engrossing . . . vivid . . . Adiga's enthralling depiction of one immigrant's tough situation humanizes a complex and controversial global dilemma. * Publishers Weekly * A taut, thrillerlike novel . . . A well-crafted tale of entrapment, alert to the risk of exploitation that follows immigrants in a new country. * Kirkus, starred review * Scrutinizes the human condition through a haves-vs.-have-not filter with sly wit and narrative ingenuity . . . Adiga's smart, funny, and timely tale with a crime spin of an undocumented immigrant will catalyze readers. * Booklist * A mesmerising, breakneck quest of a novel; a search for the true sense of self, for the answer to a moral dilemma which damns either way. The scope and profundity of Victor Hugo, the humour and wit we've come to expect from Adiga, and a novel which suggests the impossibility of keeping a sense of the self in a globalised world which either forces assimilation or exile. -- Andrew McMillan Adiga is a real writer - that is to say, someone who forges an original voice and vision * Sunday Times *
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