To Whom It May Concern

Hardev Dange is suffering through a tumultuous year. He’s just been informed that the bank is going to foreclose on his house. His fickle daughter Birendra is on the verge of marriage, his son Emile is studying curses (while falling in love with a fellow male grad student), and his younger daughter, Dorothy, who’s deaf, is working at a tattoo and body piercing parlour and collecting stories from the older men languishing at her local hangout. And because he’s confined to a wheelchair, Hardev is dependent on his homecare worker, the kleptomaniac Rodriguez, to help him devise a plan to keep house and home together.

In this modern, multicultural re-telling of King Lear, Uppal explores the vulnerability and complexity of family and inheritance. She exposes the tragic and comedic dimensions of our failures to communicate and the consequences of our betrayals, which result in disappointment and disillusionment, but also, unexpectedly, in moments of compassion and love.

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Praise for Priscila Uppal’s To Whom It May Concern

“A joy to read…full of rich narrative power and masterly plotting…an engrossing story…nothing is predicable…dazzling.”

–Roy Runnells, The Winnipeg Free Press (for To Whom It May Concern)

“[T]he first significant Canadian fiction release of the new literary campaign.”

–Vit Wagner, The Toronto Star 

“[P]owerful…the characters are fascinating…fresh, angry, creative.”

–Susan G. Cole, Now Magazine 

“[A]mbitious…very funny…entertaining…exciting and fast-paced…It is to be hoped that Uppal will continue to rival Atwood in productivity and wit. As Shakespeare might have said: Fortune, smile again on lovers of CanLit; grace us with more irresistible stories from Uppal’s unique perspective.”

–Anne Chudobiak, The Montreal Gazette 

“[A] funny, tender tragicomedy about communication, the lack of it, and how families go completely awry…a rare feat…a compelling and complete story about family of origin and family of choice…What’s marvelous about this book is the intimacy of the multiple points of view, and how one character’s actions have an impact on the next…And this is Uppal’s greatest triumph.”

–Margaret Macpherson, The Edmonton Journal

“[A] surprisingly hopeful portrayal of love, loyalty and the secrets that families construct to protect themselves and each other.”

–Marian Botsford Fraser, More Magazine 

“Uppal is a deep thinker, capable of carefully peeling back layer upon layer of the human psyche…full of surprises…very memorable…makes us laugh and cry long after the last page of the novel has been read.”

–Paul Gessell, The Ottawa Citizen 

“[A] playful deconstruction of the traditional novel’s attempt to contain the ultimately uncontainable human self…Uppal achieves some fine comic effects.”

–James Grainger, Quill & Quire 

“[T]he transitions between the four character’s viewpoints are seamless, and Uppal’s writing bursts with humour, plot turns and insights…Uppal should be congratulated for writing one of the most powerful and riskiest scenes in a Canadian novel…very ambitious…Uppal reveals herself as a compassionate and perspicacious novelist whose humanity and intelligence cannot be overlooked.”

–Ibi Kaslik, The Globe and Mail 

“This realistic tale is told is crisp, clean language that pulls the reader into the story through familiar familial scenarios. It is sad and hopeful, and will lead to a desire for connection.”

–Elizabeth McDonnell, DesiLife (Toronto Star)

“[A] preponderance of sensual imagery; smells, sounds and textures emerge constantly from the page…driven by compassion and understanding.”

–Jeremy Mesiano-Crookston, X-Press 

“Uppal’s book succeeds, especially in comparison with another supposed retelling of Lear, namely Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres…[Uppal’s] exploration of philosophical issues is intelligent and embedded; she has taken them deep inside her thinking and her story…In this accomplished novel, Uppal poses the fundamental questions of our time.”

–Marianne Apostolides, Literary Review of Canada 

“A powerful book about the trials and tribulations of family life…There are lots of twists and turns in the plot which kept my interest right until the end…leaves you to think about your own family life and the fragility of happiness in today’s society…I really enjoyed reading this book.”

Edwards Bookclub (online)

“[W]onderfully quirky, yet equally poignant, account of a family dealing with physical and personal crisis…There is something wonderfully evocative and light-hearted in Uppal’s portrayal of these individual wanderers, each in exile not from the desired family homestead so much as from themselves.”

–Cynthia Sugar, University of Toronto Quarterly

To Whom It May Concern works in ways that a reader won’t anticipate…Uppal finds an exhilarating way to retell an ancient folktale (the one Shakespeare fashioned into King Lear) as domestic tragicomedy rather than court tragedy.”

–T. F. Rigelhof, Hooked on Canadian Books: The Good, The Better, and the Best Canadian Novels since 1984 

“The transitions between each voice are seamless…The book will make you laugh and make you cry…a fulfilling experience.”

The Hungry Reader 

“This book is a refreshing take on love, compassion, and torment about a modern family.”

–Book Rack, Deccan Herald