Land Where I Flee is, according to its 27-year-old author Prajwal Parajuly, ‘an uncomfortable novel. . . often satirical, pharisaical’. Part Nepalese, part Indian, he grew up in Gangtok in the Indian state of Sikkim and completed his masters in creative writing at Oxford, where his short-story collection The Gurkha's Daughter was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize for Literature.

The stories are about immigration — Nepali refugees, victims of Bhutan’s ethnic cleansing, seeking refuge in the US. This novel is about returning home.

Four siblings journey back to Gangtok to celebrate the 84th birthday of their grandmother Chitraleckha with 300 gift-laden dignitaries, friends and family. Each returnee has a secret but is aware that any notion of privacy will be abandoned at their grandmother’s house. The formidable matriarch, who raised them single-handed after their parents died in a road accident, was expecting them to be married to devout high-caste Hindus, but they have all disappointed her.

Why did beautiful, educated Bhagwati end up washing dishes in Boulder, Colorado?

What of Manasa? Despite her Oxford degree, her promising career and her high-caste husband she is now caring full-time for her paraplegic father-in-law.

Agastaya, 34, an oncologist in New York, should be married with children but, unbeknown to her, he is gay, living with a male nurse.

Finally the disappointingly scruffy Ruthwa, ‘a boy trapped in a man’s body’, may or may not be a writer with his Facebook notes about India and contributions to men’s magazines. The resentful, unfulfilled grandmother turns to her servant Prasanti, while we, in turn, have been treated to the hilariously uncomfortable details of Prasanti’s painful transformation into a eunuch.

Parajuly focuses on the characters, their relationships, frustrations and longings while skilfully interweaving the narrative strands of this family saga into the history, politics and cultural divides of the Nepalese diaspora. Above all, as the title suggests, this book is about the concerns and fears of exodus and homecoming.

* The author will be at the Oxford Literary Festival on March 27 (box office 0870 343 1001) and at Blackwell’s on Tuesday.