The Hope Factory by Lavanya Sankaran
A Novel

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Sankaran’s debut novel, like her well-received short story a vivid exposé of modern India’s growing pains.


With humor, intelligence, and masterly prose, Lavanya Sankaran’s debut novel brilliantly captures the vitality and danger of a newly industrialized city and how it shapes the dreams and aspirations of two very different families.
Anand is a Bangalore success story: successful, well married, rich. At least, that’s how he appears. But if his little factory is to grow, he needs land and money, and, in the New India, neither of these is easy to find.
Kamala, Anand’s family’s maid, lives perilously close to the edge of disaster. She and her clever teenage son have almost nothing, and their small hopes for self-betterment depend on the contentment of Anand’s wife: a woman to whom whims come easily.
But Kamala’s son keeps bad company, and Anand’s marriage is in trouble. The murky world where crime and land and politics meet is a dangerous place for a good man, particularly one on whom the well-being of so many depends.
Rich with irony and compassion, Lavanya Sankaran’s The Hope Factory affirms her gifts as a born storyteller with remarkable prowess, originality, and wisdom.
Praise for Lavanya Sankaran’s The Red Carpet
“By the end of [the] very first story, people half a world away have been transformed into complete human beings, full of frailties and fragile self-regard, achingly sympathetic. That’s why The Red Carpet reads like a revelation. . . . I recommend this book so highly!”—Carolyn See, The Washington Post
“Throughout these fine, articulate stories, Lavanya Sankaran brings to life the new and old social worlds of Bangalore. More important, she uses the quiet dignity of her characters to reveal what’s universal in the wide rift between generations. It’s an unusually elegant and nuanced portrait.”—John Dalton, author of The Inverted Forest
“It’s a pity there aren’t more stories to be told in Carpet. They’re so much fun.”—The Dallas Morning News
“[An] animated debut . . . [These stories] are memorable for their subtle wit and convincing evocation of a dynamic world.”—Publishers Weekly

About Lavanya Sankaran

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LAVANYA SANKARAN is the author of The Red Carpet, a collection of short stories set in Bangalore, India. The book spent two years at the top of the bestseller lists, making Lavanya Hachette's largest-selling Indian author. It is currently sold in fifteen countries. Lavanya has written for the Atlantic Monthly, the Wall Street Journal, the Times of India and Outlook among other publications in America, India, Italy and France. She studied at Bryn Mawr College and lives in Bangalore. Her first novel, The Hope Factory, will be published by Random House in American and Hachette in Britain and India.

Author Residence: Bangalore, India

Author Hometown: Bangalore, India
Published April 23, 2013 by The Dial Press. 385 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Hope Factory
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1


Reviewed by Jessica Holland on May 18 2013

We're almost in Dickens territory. The novel's characters are cartoonish, the plot arcs Oliver Twist, The Hope Factory succeeds best as a portrait of a city.

Read Full Review of The Hope Factory: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian


on Feb 03 2013

Sankaran’s debut novel, like her well-received short story a vivid exposé of modern India’s growing pains.

Read Full Review of The Hope Factory: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Meenakshi Venkat on Apr 23 2013

...The Hope Factory is something of an anticlimax after the promise displayed by The Red Carpet. It is packed with a lot of intrigue that, in the final analysis, does not add up to something that could be called new and exciting.

Read Full Review of The Hope Factory: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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