Harris, patriarche d'une famille élargie qui s'étend du Pakistan à l'Angleterre, vit dans une communauté déshéritée du nord de l'Angleterre où cohabitent traditionnalistes et assimilés, fondamentalistes et modérés. Contre toute attente, il reçoit une « petite fortune » après avoir divorcé d'une Anglaise épousée des années auparavant. Mais Harris considère cette somme comme un fardeau dont il doit se décharger au plus vite. Choisir le destinataire devient alors un véritable casse-tête familial...
Émouvant et drôle, le premier roman de Rosie Dastgir porte un regard aigu sur les problèmes de classe, de culture et d'incompréhension propres aux communautés déchirées entre tradition et modernité.
Harris Anwar is a British Pakistani proud of his Eastern heritage. In fact, it's fair to say he's proud, full stop: proud he installed his own central heating; proud of his swanky blue Citroën; even proud he's owned the same Hoover for over twenty years.The only thing rivalling his pride is his Muslim sense of responsibility and obligation. He longs to do well by those dearest to him. Whether it's his nineteen-year-old daughter, Alia, in London, his cousin Nawaz and his family, living on top of their burgeoning takeaway in Yorkshire, or his friends and family back in Pakistan, Harris feels compelled to put himself second in order to help.But there's a problem: Harris' best intentions always seem to breed the worst results. And so it's no surprise that, when he decides to use his divorce settlement for selfless ends, this small fortune brings a huge cost of its own.b
A smart debut novel that explores the complexities of cultural differences, family loyalties, and what is lost in translation.
Harris, the patriarch of his large extended family in both England and Pakistan, has unexpectedly received a “small fortune” from his divorce settlement with an English woman. As a devout Muslim, Harris views this sum as a “burden of riches” that he must unload on someone else as quickly as possible. But deciding which relative to give it to proves to be a burden of its own, and soon he has promised it both to his extremely poor cousins in Pakistan and to his Westernized, college student daughter. In a rash bout of guilt and misunderstanding, Harris signs the entire sum away to the least deserving, most prosperous cousin of all, exacerbating a tricky web of familial debt and obligation on two sides of the world.
With insight, affection, and a great gift for character and story, Rosie Dastgir immerses us in a rich, beautifully drawn immigrant community and a complex extended family. She considers the challenges between relatives of different cultural backgrounds, generations, and experiences--and the things they have to teach one another. A Small Fortune offers an affecting look at class, culture, and the heartbreak of misinterpretation.