A Long Way Home: Themes and Relevant Areas of Study

The following themes are just a few of the many possible themes in A Long Way Home.

Psychology, Fine and Performing Arts

  • The search for “self” and developing one’s identity.
  • Perception and memory: Comparing child’s memory of home to adult’s perception upon seeing it years later.

Fine and Performing Arts

  • Sense of Place: Using subjective elements (the feeling of a place) and objective elements (such as a water tower) to depict a place.


  • Attachment/family relationships.
  • Nature vs. nurture: Influence of biological family and adoptive family.
  • Resiliency.

Economics, Sociology, Social Problems

  • Poverty: The Library has another book that is a photographic documentation of extreme poverty.

Sociology, Humanities, Communications

  • Multiculturalism: Many different languages so Saroo couldn’t talk to people at some train stations.

Sociology, Humanities, Law Enforcement

  • Social Problems: Human Trafficking; childhood experiences in different 3rd world countries.


  • Multiculturalism: Different religions, even within Saroo’s own biological family.

Communications: English and Literature

  • Memoir: I have a story to tell. Memoir as a literary medium.


  • Determinism, fate or destiny vs. constructivism, chance.


  • History of India: The country changed from when Saroo was a boy to when Saroo was a young man.


  • Statistics: What is the probability that Saroo would find his family.

Google Maps

  • GIS: Global positioning technology

Hawkeye Reads Program

Arts and Culture Coordinator

Jennifer Bates
Black Hawk Hall 156
319-296-2329 ext.1211
Email me

Reference Librarian

Sarah Quin
Library 122A
319-296-2329 ext.1229
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Associate Professor

Robin Sprague
Grundy Hall 250
319-296-2329 ext.1703
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