Longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2021. Punjab, 1929: a bride marries a man she is not allowed to see. Curiosity grows, with far-reaching consequences in Sunjeev Sahota’s absorbing novel.

Mehar is one of three women in arranged marriages to three brothers. The women, who live together in a room that houses the family china, are veiled in all their dealings with the men – except when they see them at appointed times in total darkness. Mehar thinks she knows which brother is hers, a belief that awakens a dangerous passion, and a quest for freedom that will have lasting consequences in another continent.

The 2021 Booker Prize
Published by
Harvill Secker
Publication date
Sunjeev Sahota

Sunjeev Sahota

About the Author

Sunjeev Sahota is the author of Ours Are the Streets and The Year of the Runaways, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Booker Prize.
More about Sunjeev Sahota

I do try to withhold as much as possible, to both clear a space in which ideas and feelings can be perceived and not asserted

Listen to an extract from China Room

Indira Varma and Antonio Aakeel bring the audiobook of China Room to life.

Penguin Books UK · China Room - Sunjeev Sahota
Audiobook cover for China Room on a pink-coloured background.

There is a scrupulous subtlety about that way that Sahota refuses to let his historical characters act as though they are in a historical novel

Sunjeev Sahota and Kamila Shamsie in conversation

For the Vintage Books podcast, Sunjeev Sahota and Kamila Shamsie spoke with Ted Hodgkinson, head of literature and spoken word at Southbank Centre and a former International Booker Prize judge, about China Room, authorship, writing histories, and more.

Sunjeev Sahota in a white shirt and blue jumper looking to the left of the camera.

Other nominated books by Sunjeev Sahota

The Year of the Runaways