A Long Way Home (book)

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A Long Way Home
A Long Way Home - cover.jpg
Paperback edition cover
AuthorSaroo Brierley, Larry Buttrose
Set inIndia, Australia
PublisherViking Australia
Publication date
24 June 2013
Media typePrint, e-book

A Long Way Home is a non-fiction book by Indian-Australian businessman Saroo Brierley written together with Larry Buttrose. The text was initially released in Australia on 24 June 2013 via Viking, then re-released internationally in 2014, and adapted into a major film in 2016.[1][2] It is reported that Brierley currently writes a prequel to A Long Way Home, “the story of both my mothers – biological and adoptive – before I was in the picture.”[3]


In this autobiographical book, Brierley covers three decades of his life, describing his ordeals and adventures as a lost five-year-old in rural India, his adoption by a wealthy Australian family, and his search for his Indian native family some 25 years later.

In an interview to ABC Radio Sydney, Larry Buttrose explained that "From the very first time I came in contact with the story, I knew it was a fantastic story,... It was a film crying to be made". Buttrose recorded hours of interviews with both Saroo and his adoptive mother and completed a 70,000-word manuscript in a hotel room in Kolkata to meet a tough three-month deadline set by the publisher.[4]


Karina Wetherbee of Vail Daily stated "There is a real feeling of catharsis when reading Brierley's astounding narrative, in the classic sense of a happy ending, for the journey of the author as a boy — and then again as a young man — evokes the audacity of a fable, but it is set in the real world, a place where wonderment and miraculous occurrences can often seem wanting".[5] Dianne Dempsey of The Sydney Morning Herald commented "Brierley writes in a straightforward manner without trying to do anything fancy except tell a remarkable story. As well as the tale of his quest, he provides an informative and fascinating insight into how Third World families live with, and somehow survive, their poverty".[6] Taylor Dibbert of International Policy Digest added "It’s not hard to understand why this work has received such high praise. This is an honest story of pain, struggle, hope and love. He concludes the book on a reflective note... Brierley’s journey is inspirational and deeply moving; it’s another reminder of how potent passion and the human spirit actually are".[7]


In 2016, the book was adapted into major international feature film Lion, directed by Garth Davis and starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara. The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.[8][9][10][11][12] Dev Patel was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.


  1. ^ "A Long Way Home". Book Depository. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  2. ^ Carroll, Rory (24 February 2017). "Saroo Brierley, the inspiration for the film Lion: 'My mother saw my face after 25 years'". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  3. ^ Iyer, Archana (2 February 2017). "Lion: Saroo Brierley's next book to be a prequel to A Long Way Home". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  4. ^ Hoh, Amanda (16 February 2017). "A Long Way Home: Ghostwriter Larry Buttrose on telling Saroo Brierley's story behind the film Lion". ABC Radio Sydney. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  5. ^ Wetherbee, Karina (March 18, 2017). "Book review: 'A Long Way Home,' by Saroo Brierley". Vail Daily. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  6. ^ Dempsey, Dianne (31 August 2013). "A Long Way Home". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  7. ^ Dibbert, Taylor (27 June 2015). "Book Review: 'A Long Way Home'27 Jun 2015 Taylor Dibbert Book Review: 'A Long Way Home'". International Policy Digest. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Saroo Brierley on set to see his life story take shape". The Mercury. 31 January 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  9. ^ Busis, Hillary (26 August 2016). "Dev Patel's Lion May Be the Inspirational Awards-Season Tale You're Looking For". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  10. ^ "TIFF 2016: Garth Davis' 'Lion' with Dev Patel is an Emotional Journey". Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Lion". 13 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  12. ^ "'Arrival,' 'La La Land,' 'Moonlight' and more: How the Toronto Film Festival movies will play with Oscar voters". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 16 September 2016.

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