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Shortlisted for the Singapore Book Awards 2017 (Best Book Cover Design)

Balli Kaur Jaswal


In 1971, a teenage girl briefly disappears from her house in the middle of the night, only to return a different person, causing fissures that threaten to fracture her Punjabi Sikh family.

As Singapore’s political and social landscapes evolve, the family must cope with shifting attitudes toward castes, youth culture, sex and gender roles, identity and belonging. Inheritance examines each family member’s struggles to either preserve or buck tradition in the face of an ever-changing nation.

Praise for Inheritance:
“A rich and gorgeous portrait of a family—and nation—struggling against history, culture, and the grief of smashed hope.”
—Emily Maguire, author of Fishing for Tigers

“An exceptional debut. Balli Kaur Jaswal reveals the conflicts at the heart of one Punjabi family with such compassion, such accuracy, the effect is compelling. Her gifts are immense.”
—Andrew Cowan, author of Pig

Inheritance is mesmerising. Balli Kaur Jaswal’s voice is rich in detail and emotional truth. I was carried away with the characters’ hopes and hurts. The book reminded me of the weight of family, but also how lost we are without it.”
—Simmone Howell, author of Everything Beautiful

“A vivid, compelling tale of selfhood, fraught blood ties and the devastating weight of change.”
—Meg Mundell, author of Black Glass

“Inheritance is a moving and assured debut, a perfectly balanced allegory, where the individual struggles of a family are underscored by the larger picture of nation-building and national identity. Balli Kaur Jaswal writes with compassion, intelligence and an empathetic eye, transporting the reader effortlessly through time and between points of view.”
—Leanne Hall, author of This Is Shyness

“Jaswal’s wonderful debut didn’t merely transport me to a country I knew nothing about, or introduce me to a family the likes of which I’d never meet. She made me long for her Singapore like a lost home, and miss her characters like departed friends. What an extraordinary thing for a novel to do.”
—Alexander Yates, author of Moondogs

About the Author:
Balli Kaur Jaswal is also the author of Sugarbread, a finalist for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize, and a story about fitting in and confronting the past. Born in Singapore and raised in Japan, Russia and the Philippines, she studied creative writing in the United States. She has received writing fellowships from the University of East Anglia and Nanyang Technological University, and was named Best Young Australian Novelist of 2014 by the Sydney Morning Herald. She is working on her third novel, a dark comedy set in a Punjabi immigrant enclave in London.

ISBN: 9789814757362
Format: Paperback
Size: 225mm x 152mm
Pages: 264pp
Release: June 2016

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