''It is utterly persuasive and deeply affecting: stylistically adventurous it is never self-indulgent; although suffused with pain it shows no trace of self-pity. Parts of it are extremely funny, and its pages are filled with endearing and eccentric characters. Em and the Big Hoom is a profoundly moving book: I cannot remember when I last read something as touching as this.'' --Amitav Ghosh, New York Times bestselling author and Man Booker Prize finalist
''Pinto chases the elusive portrait of a mother who simply said of herself that she was mad. As I read the novel, that also portrays a very tender marriage and the life of a Goan family in Bombay, it drowned me. I mean that in the best way. It plunged me into a world so vivid and capricious that when I finished, I found something had shifted and changed within myself. This is a world of magnified and dark emotion. The anger is a primal force, the sadness wild and raw. Against this, the jokes are hilarious, reckless, free falling . . . This is a rare, brilliant book, one that is wonderfully different from any other that I have read coming out of India.'' --Kiran Desai, author of The Inheritance of Loss, winner of the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award
''Pinto's narrative is both brutal and beautiful.'' --Business Standard Book Review
''Deeply engrossing, finely tuned, and told with a moving and luminous clarity, this is a splendid and memorable debut.'' --Hindu
''Although it's set in India, Em and the Big Hoom is a relevant and resonant book for any audience, anywhere, transcending territory and nationality even as it reflects upon them. It is a great big wide novel with a voice so unique and yet, somehow, so familiar that its words ring in your ears long after you've left these pages, calling you back, again and again, to a story that demands to be read.'' --Lauren Slater, author of Opening Skinner's Box and Prozac Diary
''Pinto's debut offers a heartbreaking glimpse into the daily horrors and sometimes humors of growing up with a mentally ill parent . . . Even in her many betrayals, Em is charming; the narrator's depiction of her is unflinching and honest, and relayed in a tidy voice that's nearly matter-of-fact. The result is a trim but deeply felt first novel that successfully navigates some difficult territory - identity, madness, our obligations to one another - without ever becoming bogged down.'' --Publishers Weekly
Filled with endearing and eccentric characters, and marked by sparkling dialogue and restrained emotion, this is one of the most powerful and moving novels to be published in India in a long time.