“Beautiful, thought-provoking [stories] about the costs of wanting children” (Kirkus Reviews), from the National Jewish Book Award-winning author of A Play for the End of the World (“an impressive debut” —Meg Wolitzer)”

"Whether in Brooklyn, Kolkata, upstate New York or elsewhere, these characters captured my heart and endure in my memory like loved ones.” —Mia Alvar, author of In the Country

In the fourteen masterful stories that make up this collection, Jai Chakrabarti crosses continents and cultures to explore what it means to cultivate a family today, across borders, religions, and race.

In the title story, a closeted gay man in 1980s Kolkata seeks to have a child with his lover’s wife. An Indian widow, engaged to a Jewish man, struggles to balance her cultural identity with the rituals and traditions of her newfound family. An American musician travels to see his guru for the final time—and makes a promise he cannot keep. A young woman from an Indian village arrives in Brooklyn to care for the toddler of a biracial couple. And a mystical agent is sent by a mother to solve her son’s domestic problems.

Throughout, the characters’ most vulnerable desires shape life-altering decisions as they seek to balance their needs against those of the people they hold closest. The stories in A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness capture men and women struggling with transformation and familial bonds; they traverse the intersections of countries and cultures to illuminate what it means to love in uncertain times; and they showcase the skill of a storyteller who dazzles with the breadth of his vision.
“These are beautiful stories, sometimes wrenching, sometimes redeeming, always pulling us into unexpected spaces—of the world, of the human heart. Chakrabarti is an accomplished and insightful writer.” —Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, best-selling author of The Last Queen and The Forest of Enchantments

“Lush, immersive stories set in India and America about people trying to make families . . . Beautiful, thought-provoking work about the costs of wanting children.”Kirkus Reviews

“Jai Chakrabarti is an elegant writer with clarity of vision and greatness of heart. His new book expands the world in some mysterious way.” —Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The House of Broken Angels

Chakrabarti follows up his piercingly inventive National Jewish Book Award winner, A Play for the End of the World, with a story collection featuring characters who bravely follow their heart’s desire toward big life changes.” Library Journal

A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness is a gift. Through stories that capture the depths and expanse of love, longing, faith, and identity, Jai Chakrabarti brilliantly illuminates the moments—big and small—that define our shared humanity. Poignant, incandescent, and unforgettable.” —Qian Julie Wang, New York Times best-selling author of Beautiful Country

"Chakrabarti's moving book of short stories puts familial love to the test. Characters struggle with spouses, racial conflict, and, mostly, choices about their children . . . Not one for neat endings, Chakrabarti puts the impetus on readers to decide the consequences of characters' actions and where their fates lie. It's an affecting technique for a captivating collection." Booklist

“Finely wrought characters grapple with culture clash, marital strife, and the troubles of parenthood in Chakrabarti’s impressive collection . . . Throughout, Chakrabarti builds complicated and intriguing emotional situations, and his disquieting, unresolved endings leave the atmosphere unspoiled. This is a satisfying, vibrant exploration of family and identity.”Publishers Weekly

“Jai Chakrabarti offers real magic with A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness, opening worlds upon worlds with each sentence. To follow him is to succumb to the pure joy of disappearing into a book completely.” —Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk
A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness is a tender, exquisite blessing of a book, from an author whose compassion, wit and imagination feel as vast as the world itself. Whether in Brooklyn, Kolkata, upstate New York or elsewhere, these characters captured my heart and endure in my memory like loved ones.” —Mia Alvar, author of In the Country
“With a poet’s sense of compression and a wonderful feel for the catastrophic gaps that can open up between countries, people, and behaviors, Jai Chakrabarthi’s A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness is essential reading for its title story alone. It is a moving, immersive, timely collection about what we hear and don’t hear when we try to talk to one another.” —Jonathan Lee, author of High Dive and The Great Mistake

“I meant to read only the first story of Jai Chakrabarti’s masterful collection, A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness, but the characters quickly swept me away. They linger and charm, find and refuse their happinesses, parent themselves and others in endless, enigmatic ways. This is a collection that turns on breathtaking mettle and heart-rending delicacy. I can’t imagine a reader who wouldn’t find something precious in these pages.” —Marie-Helene Bertino, author of Parakeet and Safe as Houses