Meet Tony: the first Indian to set foot on American soil.
Among the settlers, slaves, and indentured servants that make the treacherous journey across the Atlantic to the New World in the early 1600s — for some, an exciting opportunity, for others, a brutal abduction — there is also Tony. As a child, his homeland on the Coromandel Coast of India becomes a trading outpost for the English; as an orphaned teenager, he finds himself kidnapped from the streets of London and bound to servitude on a Virginia plantation. But Tony is not giving up on his dreams just yet.
Under the rule of a sadistic plantation owner, he forms a tender bond with a young boy who will haunt his nightmares; on an exploration inland alongside a trader and Native Americans, he realises the world is vaster and more mysterious than he could have imagined; and in Jamestown, he finally earns himself a position as a physician's apprentice, an ambition he has long harboured.
The East Indian is a Dickensian-style yarn about family, friendship, and finding oneself in the seeds of a new world.
Inspired by a historical figure, an exhilarating debut novel about the first native of the Indian subcontinent to arrive in Colonial America—for readers of Esi Edugyan and Yaa Gyasi.
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