Our Bookseller says:
“This is an astonishing, heartbreaking debut that grapples with life’s big themes—growth, family, love, acceptance, tradition, faith, death, and disappointment—and the ways in which we can lose, hide, and find ourselves within them. Told from a distinctive point of view, the plot is as propulsive as the characters themselves, each seemingly minute detail giving way to an ocean (or three) of memories and feelings. Seema, Tahera, and their mother are seemingly disparate personalities whose lives have diverged and become estranged over decades. Still, they yearn for that connection, for a familial bond that transcends their differences. Note: make sure you have a bulk box of tissues handy.
TW: maternal death (this is not a spoiler), illness”
Working as a consultant for Kamala Harris’s attorney general campaign in Obama-era San Francisco, Seema has constructed a successful life for herself in the West, despite still struggling with her father’s long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the Black father of her unborn son, Seema seeks solace in the company of those she once thought lost to her: her ailing mother, Nafeesa, traveling alone to California from Chennai, and her devoutly religious sister, Tahera, a doctor living in Texas with her husband and children.
But instead of a joyful reconciliation anticipating the birth of a child, the events of this fateful week unearth years of betrayal, misunderstanding, and complicated layers of love—a tapestry of emotions as riveting and disparate as the era itself.
Told from the point of view of Seema’s child at the moment of his birth, and infused with the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats and verses from the Quran, Radiant Fugitives is a moving tale of a family and a country grappling with acceptance, forgiveness, and enduring love.