San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2017

NPR  Best Book of 2017

Library Journal Top 10 Books of 2017

Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2017

Amazon Editors' Pick 2017

Booklist Great Group Reads of 2017

Women's National Book Association Best Books of 2017


Sekaran is a master of drawing detailed, richly layered characters and relationships; here are the subtly nuanced lines of love and expectation between parents and children; here, too are moments of great depth and insight. A superbly crafted and engrossing novel.  
KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

A fiercely compassionate story about the bonds and the bounds of motherhood and, ultimately, of love.

— CRISTINA HENRÍQUEZ, Author of The Book of Unknown Americans

It's a story about immigration, privilege, and parenthood, and shows us how we are connected, and how we are, perhaps irreparably, divided. It swept me away and took a little piece of my heart with it. It's a perfect book.

EDAN LEPUCKI, Bestselling author of California

[A] deeply compassionate exploration of the emotional toll of infertility, the insidious ways in which class divides us, the weight of social judgment, and the explosive touch-point of today's headlines regarding illegal immigration ... [Sekaran delivers] penetrating insights into the intangibles of motherhood and indeed, all humanity. 

— BOOKLIST (starred review)

An ambitious, compassionate and intelligent book with new things to say on the timely subjects of motherhood, fertility, class and identity. This is a deeply human and humane novel by a gifted young writer. 

TOM BARBASH, Author of Stay Up With Me

[H]umanizes current discussions of immigration, privilege, and what it means to be an American. ...Sekaran evokes compassion for all the principals involved in the story... highly recommended and would be a strong choice for book clubs.LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)

A gripping, obsessive, character-driven narrative of sacrifice and identity—where the lives of two women become forever tangled in the roots of motherhood. SIMON VAN BOOY, Award-winning author of The Illusion of Separateness





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LIT STARTS: Writing Dialogue


Shanthi Sekaran is a writer and educator from Berkeley, California. Her recent novel, Lucky Boy (Putnam/Penguin), was named an IndieNext Great Read, and an NPR Best Book of 2017. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times,, LA Review of Books and Huffington Post. She teaches creative writing and literature at Mills College in Oakland, CA.



February 10: Berkeley Public Library Authors Dinner: 6:30-11 pm, Berkeley Public Library Central Branch. Info on booking tickets:

February 15: San Francisco Writers' Conference.

April 28: Arkansas Literary Festival: 4 pm, "Beyond Borders", Q&A and Reading with author Ibi Zoboi

May 15 2018: The Bindery SF: 7 pm, In conversation with Rahna Reiko Rizzutto, author of Shadow Child

May 29 2018: Octopus Literary Salon: 7 pm Reading and Q&A with Lauren Markham, author of The Faraway Brothers


November 14 2019: 7:30 pm. Rae Dorough Speaker Series, Bankhead Theater, 2400 1st Street, Livermore, CA.

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For speaking engagements and event appearances, please contact Dawn Stuart at Books in Common:

Tel: 541.318.6288 |

For press and rights queries, please contact Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, Inc.  Agent: Lindsay Edgecombe, 307 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2407, New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212.337.0934 | Fax: 212.337.0948 |

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To schedule an interview with Shanthi Sekaran or request a review copy, please contact

Sydney Cohen at 

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Winner, Housatonic Book Award