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.
“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