Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #RadiantFugitives #NetGalley
Working as a political activist in the early days of the Obama presidency, Seema still struggles with her father’s long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian, forcing her to construct a new life in the West. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the father of her unborn son, Seema seeks reconciliation with the family that once renounced her: her ailing mother, Nafeesa, traveling alone to California from Chennai, and her devoutly religious sister, Tahera, an OB-GYN living in Texas with her husband and children.
Pushed apart and drawn together in equal measure by their often conflicting beliefs, Seema, Tahera, and Nafeesa must confront the complex yearnings in their relationships with one another—and within their innermost selves—as the events that transpire over the course of one fateful week unearth an accumulated lifetime of love, betrayal, and misunderstandings.
Told from the point of view of Seema’s child at the moment of his birth and infused with the poetry of Wordsworth, Keats, and the Quran, Radiant Fugitives is an operatic debut from a bold new voice, exploring the tensions between ideology and practicality, hope and tradition, forgiveness and retribution for one family navigating a shifting political landscape.
A Library Journal Title to Watch
“Radiant Fugitives indeed glows. This is such a beautiful novel, full of light and luminous sentences. Reading it felt like basking in a generous and lucid intelligence. Ahmed writes his characters and their worlds with honesty and compassion. This is a writer to watch, a voice we need.” —Matthew Salesses, author of Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear
“A tender and heartbreaking love letter to San Francisco, to family, faith, tradition, and all the ways we get lost in them, Radiant Fugitives is richly drawn, poetic, and mesmerizing. Nawaaz Ahmed is a marvelous and intricate storyteller.” —Natashia Deón, author of The Perishing and Grace
"Lyrical and deeply moving, Nawaaz Ahmed’s Radiant Fugitives is about the search for love, acceptance, and family, both chosen and received. The novel is big-hearted and clear-eyed, a stellar debut." —Vanessa Hua, author of A River of Stars
"With a fine sense of the complex relationships among women kin, Nawaaz Ahmed has crafted an exquisite tale that explores the contradictions, love, compassion, and forgiveness in a family divided by tradition, sexuality, rivalry, religion, patriarchy, and geography." —Susan Abulhawa, author of Against the Loveless World
“Nawaaz Ahmed's remarkable debut novel brings to life a loving family torn apart by parental rejection, clashing values, sibling rivalry, and geographical and emotional distances. Radiant Fugitives is a profound and in-depth exploration of our common humanity, and the ways in which we are more alike than different.” ―Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of I Know This Much Is True
"Elegantly crafted and luminously written, Nawaaz Ahmed’s first novel is a fearless exploration of the clash between identity, sexuality, and religion." —Manil Suri, author of The City of Devi
“Radiant Fugitives is a rare marvel, an intimate epic of faith and family, love and politics, knit together by a magical omniscience of profound compassion.” —Peter Ho Davies, author of A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself