The Museum of Failures

A Novel
by Thrity Umrigar

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The bestselling author of The Space Between Us and Reese's Book Club pick Honor delivers a powerful story about family secrets, a mother's power, and the importance of forgiveness.

Remy Wadia left India for the United States long ago, carrying his resentment of his mother with him. He has now returned to Bombay to...
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Published By Algonquin Books

Format Hardback

Number Of Pages 368

Publication Date 09/26/2023

ISBN 9781643753553

Dimensions 6.4 inches x 9.4 inches

"Family secrets are constellations made of falling stars. When scattered across the vast expanse of our lives, they lead us, guide us, but often in the wrong direction. With Thrity Umrigar’s signature blend of emotional depth and compassionate storytelling, The Museum of Failures is a poignant and profound exploration of what happens when someone’s entire life, their entire journey, has been spent off-course. I feel this book. You will too."

“There's no powder keg like a family secret. And when it explodes, nothing in the past is ever as it was, and nothing in the future is ever the same. The Museum of Failures is a symphony of secrets and lies, love and hate, regret and forgiveness, but more than that, the unraveling of everything one holds dear to find something more precious and elusive: oneself. Powerful and engrossing.”


Named a Best Book of 2023 by NPR, Harper's BazaarBookRiotChristian Science Monitor & more.

Named a Most Anticipated Book of Fall/2023 by PEOPLE Magazine, Amazon, Goodreads, Ms., We Are Bookish, SheReads, Christian Science Monitor, Literary Hub, BookBub, Book Bistro, & more.

"Wrenching and uplifting, lighthearted and profound, The Museum of Failures is a suspenseful, beautifully plotted tribute to the complicated yet steadfast love between parents and children."


"The Museum of Failures is a compassionate and insightful exploration of judgment, forgiveness, and understanding. A skilled chronicler of family secrets, Thrity Umrigar reveals the reverberation that decisions can have over generations and the impact of distance, both geographical and psychological, on the relationship of one mother and son."


“Remy grapples with his notions of home, devastating family secrets and impending fatherhood in this emotional novel from the bestselling author of Honor.”

— PEOPLE Magazine

“This is a beautifully wrought novel about the complicated relationships between parents and children, the secrets we keep — and those we reveal.”

— B&N

“An expert storyteller, Thirty Umrigar knows how to weave a tale of family secrets, relationships, tradition and acceptance. Layered and captivating.”

— Ms.

“Thrity Umrigar’s evocative novel explores the personal, political, and cultural reckonings of an immigrant son discovering compassion and forgiveness.”

— Christian Science Monitor, "The best reads of 2023"

“Instructive as well as moving… As she captures the anguish of people torn between two worlds, Umrigar’s own writing takes on a cinematic brilliance.”

— BookReporter

"A beautifully written, heart-warming, and welcoming glimpse into the Parsi community and the complications of family.”—

— Shelf Awareness

“Immersive, intimate, and deeply felt, Thrity Umrigar’s The Museum of Failures explores the power of forgiveness and the eternal possibility of new beginnings.”

— PEN America / The PEN 10

"A powerful family drama.”

— Akron Beacon Journal

“The story of the Wadia family is a sensitive exploration of love in its different forms—romantic, maternal, filial, platonic—and forgiveness. Umrigar’s fluid prose and well-wrought characters capture the milieu of the Parsi community past and present. Paired with the emotionally demanding story line, this is a compelling read.”

— Booklist

“[Umrigar] creates interesting characters and complex relationships, builds thematic tension and narrative suspense, and delivers emotionally resonant moments at just the right pace… [A] rich, heartfelt novel. This is a touching story about what it really means to grow up and into an authentic life.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“[A] rich and emotionally gripping story about familial love and the destructive power of secrets... Umrigar continues to impress.”

— Publishers Weekly

"Deep and meaningful, The Museum of Failures challenges us to examine our own relationships with home and family, acknowledging our pain and creating a future that tells a new story."

— Chapter16

“[A] powerful novel of family and secrets.”

— Largehearted Boy

“Thrity Umrigar’s novels are immersive, and I felt transported to Bombay throughout the novel. Her vivid descriptions of the city and its inhabitants brought the setting to life… This novel emphasizes the importance of love, acceptance and sacrifice. A very heartfelt read!”

— Los Angeles Book Review

"This book has the power to break and make you, in equal measure, an ode to Thrity Umrigar’s calibre."

— BookRiot