book cover of America for Beginners

America for Beginners

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
Recalling contemporary classics such as Americanah, Behold the Dreamers, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a funny, poignant, and insightful debut novel that explores the complexities of family, immigration, prejudice, and the American Dream through meaningful and unlikely friendships forged in unusual circumstances.

Pival Sengupta has done something she never expected: she has booked a trip with the First Class India USA Destination Vacation Tour Company. But unlike other upper-class Indians on a foreign holiday, the recently widowed Pival is not interested in sightseeing. She is traveling thousands of miles from Kolkata to New York on a cross-country journey to California, where she hopes to uncover the truth about her beloved son, Rahi. A year ago Rahi devastated his very traditional parents when he told them he was gay. Then, Pival's husband, Ram, told her that their son had died suddenly - heartbreaking news she still refuses to accept. Now, with Ram gone, she is going to America to find Rahi, alive and whole or dead and gone, and come to terms with her own life.

Arriving in New York, the tour proves to be more complicated than anticipated. Planned by the company's indefatigable owner, Ronnie Munshi - a hard-working immigrant and entrepreneur hungry for his own taste of the American dream - it is a work of haphazard improvisation. Pival's guide is the company's new hire, the guileless and wonderfully resourceful Satya, who has been in America for one year - and has never actually left the five boroughs. For modesty's sake Pival and Satya will be accompanied by Rebecca Elliot, an aspiring young actress. Eager for a paying gig, she's along for the ride, because how hard can a two-week "working" vacation traveling across America be?

Slowly making her way from coast to coast with her unlikely companions, Pival finds that her understanding of her son - and her hopes of a reunion with him - are challenged by her growing knowledge of his adoptive country. As the bonds between this odd trio deepens, Pival, Satya, and Rebecca learn to see America - and themselves - in different and profound new ways.

A bittersweet and bighearted tale of forgiveness, hope, and acceptance, America for Beginners illuminates the unexpected enchantments life can hold, and reminds us that our most precious connections aren't always the ones we seek.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Compassionate and funny, America For Beginners delves into the complications of family as three unlikely companions venture across a country that challenges their understanding of themselves. A charming debut by a fresh new voice." - Brit Bennett

"I loved this beautiful, deeply human tale. Exquisitely written with humor and tenderness, this novel is a perceptive exploration of prejudice, cultural differences, the American dream, and ultimately, the kindness and love that binds us all--a timely reminder of life's profound possibilities when we open our hearts. This is one magnificent read!" - Amita Trasi


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Used availability for Leah Franqui's America for Beginners

Hardback Editions

April 2019 : UK Hardback

Title: America For Beginners
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 1-4448-4052-5 / 978-1-4448-4052-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Ulverscroft
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2018 : UK Hardback
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Title: America for Beginners
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 0-00-822913-9 / 978-0-00-822913-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


July 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: America for Beginners: A Novel
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 0-06-266875-7 / 978-0-06-266875-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

July 2019 : USA Paperback
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Title: America for Beginners: A Novel
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 0-06-266876-5 / 978-0-06-266876-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


May 2019 : UK Paperback
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Title: America for Beginners
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 0-00-822916-3 / 978-0-00-822916-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


July 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: America for Beginners
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 0-00-822914-7 / 978-0-00-822914-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


July 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: America for Beginners: A Novel
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 0-06-284573-X / 978-0-06-284573-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: HarperLuxe
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: America for Beginners
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 0-00-824039-6 / 978-0-00-824039-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon UK   


Audio Editions

July 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: America for Beginners
Author(s): Leah Franqui
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon   


July 2018 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: America for Beginners
Author(s): Leah Franqui
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2018 : USA Audio CD
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Title: America for Beginners Lib/E
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 1-5385-5120-9 / 978-1-5385-5120-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2018 : USA Audio CD
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Title: America for Beginners: A Novel
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 1-5385-5121-7 / 978-1-5385-5121-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2018 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: America for Beginners: A Novel
Author(s): Leah Franqui
ISBN: 1-5385-5122-5 / 978-1-5385-5122-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: America for Beginners: A Novel
Author(s): Leah Franqui
Publisher: HarperAudio
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

July 2018 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: America for Beginners
Author(s): Leah Franqui
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


July 2018 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: America for Beginners: A Novel
Author(s): Leah Franqui
Publisher: William Morrow
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA