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The White Tiger by
Publication Date: 2008-04-22
A brutal view of India's class struggles is cunningly presented in Adiga's debut about a racist, homicidal chauffer. Balram Halwai is from the "Darkness," born where India's downtrodden and unlucky are destined to rot. Balram manages to escape his village and move to Delhi after being hired as a driver for a rich landlord. Telling his story in retrospect, the novel is a piecemeal correspondence from Balram to the premier of China, who is expected to visit India and whom Balram believes could learn a lesson or two about India's entrepreneurial underbelly. Adiga's existential and crude prose animates the battle between India's wealthy and poor as Balram suffers degrading treatment at the hands of his employers (or, more appropriately, masters). His personal fortunes and luck improve dramatically after he kills his boss and decamps for Bangalore. Balram is a clever and resourceful narrator with a witty and sarcastic edge that endears him to readers, even as he rails about corruption, allows himself to be defiled by his bosses, spews coarse invective and eventually profits from moral ambiguity and outright criminality. It's the perfect antidote to lyrical India. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
A Good Indian Wife by
Publication Date: 2008-05-17
A clash of hearts and cultures set against the divergent backdrops of rural India and downtown San Francisco. Handsome anesthesiologist Neel prides himself on his decisiveness, both in and out of the operating room. So when he agrees to return to India to visit his ailing grandfather, he is sure he'll be able to resist his family's pleas that he marry a "good" Indian girl. With a girlfriend and a promising career back in San Francisco, the last thing Neel needs is an arranged marriage. Leila is a thirty-year-old teacher in Neel's family's village who has watched too many prospective husbands come and go to think her newest suitor will be any different. She is well past prime marrying age; her family has no money for a dowry; and then there's the matter of an old friendship with a Muslim boy named Janni. Neel and Leila struggle to reconcile their own desires with the expectations of others in this riveting story of two people, two countries, and two ways of life that may be more compatible than they seem.
The Invitation by
Publication Date: 2012-05-14
When Vikram invites three ofhis college friends to his son's graduation from MIT, they accept out of obligation and curiosity, viewing the party as a twenty-fifth reunion of sorts. Village genius Vikram, now the founder of a lucrative computer company, ishaving the party against his son's wishes. Frances and Jay regret accepting: Frances, a real estate agent, hasn't sold a house in a year; Jay's middlemanagement job isn't brag worthy; and their daughter is failing the eleventh grade. Lali plans to hide the fact that her once-happy marriage is crumbling because her American husband is discovering his Jewish roots. Each had left UCLA expecting to be successful and have even more successful children. At Vikram's Newport Beach mansion, the showmanship they anticipate dissolves as each is forced to deal with his or her own problems. The follow-up to A Good Indian Wife, Anne Cherian's novel resonates with the poignancy of real life colliding with expectations unmet.
Oleander Girl by
Publication Date: 2013-03-19
Divakaruni returns with her most gripping novel yet, a sweeping, suspenseful coming-of-age tale about a young woman who leaves India for America on a search that will transform her life. THOUGH SHE WAS ORPHANED AT BIRTH, the wild and headstrong Korobi Roy has enjoyed a privileged childhood with her adoring grandparents, spending her first seventeen years sheltered in a beautiful, crumbling old mansion in Kolkata. But despite all that her grandparents have done for her, she is troubled by the silence that surrounds the circumstances of her parent's death and clings fiercely to her only inheritance from them: the love note she found, years ago, hidden in a book of poetry that had belonged to her mother. As she grows, Korobi dreams of one day finding a love as powerful as her parent's and it seems her wish has finally come true when she meets the charming Rajat, the only son of a high-profile business family. Shortly after their engagement, however, a sudden heart attack kills Korobi's grandfather, revealing serious financial problems and a devastating secret about Korobi's past. Shattered by this discovery and by her grandparent's betrayal, Korobi decides to undertake a courageous search across post-9/11 America to find her true identity. Her dramatic, often startling journey will ultimately thrust her into the most difficult decision of her life.
The Namesake by
Publication Date: 2003-09-16
The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs.
Unaccustomed Earth by
Publication Date: 2008-04-01
In the stunning title story, Ruma, a young mother in a new city, is visited by her father, who carefully tends the earth of her garden, where he and his grandson form a special bond. But he's harboring a secret from his daughter, a love affair he's keeping all to himself. In A Choice of Accommodations, a husband's attempt to turn an old friend's wedding into a romantic getaway weekend with his wife takes a dark, revealing turn as the party lasts deep into the night. In Only Goodness, a sister eager to give her younger brother the perfect childhood she never had is overwhelmed by guilt, anguish, and anger when his alcoholism threatens her family. And in Hema and Kaushik, a trio of linked stories a luminous, intensely compelling elegy of life, death, love, and fate we follow the lives of a girl and boy who, one winter, share a house in Massachusetts. They travel from innocence to experience on separate, sometimes painful paths, until destiny brings them together again years later in Rome.
Interpreter of Maladies by
Publication Date: 2000-05-22
Navigating between the Indian traditions they've inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In "A Temporary Matter," published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession. Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant. She is an important and powerful new voice.
The Abundance by
Publication Date: 2013-03-05
A luminous, bittersweet novel of India and the American midwest, immigrants and their first-generation children, and the power of cooking to bridge the gulfs between them When Mala and Ronak learn that their mother has only a few months to live, they are reluctantly pulled back into the midwestern world of their Indian immigrant parents - a diaspora of prosperous doctors and engineers who have successfully managed to keep faith with the old world while claiming the prizes of the new. More successfully than their children - equally ill at ease with Holi and Christmas, bhaji and barbecue, they are mysteries to their parents and themselves. In the short time between diagnosis and deterioration, Mala sets about learning everything she can about her mother's art of Indian cooking. Pefecting the naan and the raita, the two confront their deepest divisions and failures and learn to speak as well as cook. But when Ronak hits upon the idea of selling their experience as a book and a TV documentary, India and America, immigrant and native-born are torn as never before.
American Dervish by
Publication Date: 2012-01-09
Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes. Mina is Hayat's mother's oldest friend from Pakistan. She is independent, beautiful and intelligent, and arrives on the Shah's doorstep when her disastrous marriage in Pakistan disintegrates. Even Hayat's skeptical father can't deny the liveliness and happiness that accompanies Mina into their home. Her deep spirituality brings the family's Muslim faith to life in a way that resonates with Hayat as nothing has before. Studying the Quran by Mina's side and basking in the glow of her attention, he feels an entirely new purpose mingled with a growing infatuation for his teacher. When Mina meets and begins dating a man, Hayat is confused by his feelings of betrayal. His growing passions, both spiritual and romantic, force him to question all that he has come to believe is true. Just as Mina finds happiness, Hayat is compelled to act -- with devastating consequences for all those he loves most.
The Story Hour by
Publication Date: 2014-08-19
From the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The World We Found and The Space Between Us comes a profound, heartbreakingly honest novel about friendship, love, and second chances. An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But when she agrees to treat a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself, her professional detachment disintegrates. Cut off from her family in India, and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store, Lakshmi is desperately lonely. Moved by Lakshmi's plight, Maggie offers to see her as an outpatient for free. In the course of their first sessions in Maggie's home office, she quickly realizes that what Lakshmi really needs is not a shrink but a friend. Determined to empower Lakshmi as a woman who feels valued in her own right, Maggie abandons protocol, and soon doctor and patient become close. Even though they seemingly have nothing in common, both women are haunted by loss and truths that they are afraid to reveal. However, crossing professional boundaries has its price. As Maggie and Lakshmi's relationship deepens, long-buried secrets come to light that shake their faith in each other and force them to confront painful choices in their own lives. With Thrity Umrigar's remarkable sensitivity and singular gift for an absorbing narrative, The Story Hour explores the bonds of friendship and the margins of forgiveness.
Family Life by
Publication Date: 2014-04-07
Known for his "cunning, dismaying and beautifully conceived" fiction (New York Times), Akhil Sharma delivers a story of astonishing intensity and emotional precision.Growing up in Delhi in 1978, eight-year-old Ajay Mishra and his older brother Birju play cricket on the streets, eagerly waiting for the day they can join their father in America. America to the Mishras is, indeed, everything they could have imagined and more--until tragedy strikes. Young Ajay prays to a God he envisions as Superman, searching for direction amid the ruins of his family's new life. Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival.
When the Moon Is Low by
Publication Date: 2015-07-21
Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister's family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.
Bright Lines by
Publication Date: 2015-08-11
A vibrant debut novel, set in Brooklyn and Bangladesh, follows three young women and one family struggling to make peace with secrets and their past For as long as she can remember, Ella has longed to feel at home. Orphaned as a child after her parents' murder, and afflicted with hallucinations at dusk, she's always felt more at ease in nature than with people. She traveled from Bangladesh to Brooklyn to live with the Saleems: her uncle Anwar, aunt Hashi, and their beautiful daughter, Charu, her complete opposite. One summer, when Ella returns home from college, she discovers Charu's friend Maya--an Islamic cleric's runaway daughter--asleep in her bedroom. As the girls have a summer of clandestine adventure and sexual awakenings, Anwar--owner of a popular botanical apothecary--has his own secrets, threatening his thirty-year marriage. But when tragedy strikes, the Saleems find themselves blamed. To keep his family from unraveling, Anwar takes them on a fated trip to Bangladesh, to reckon with the past, their extended family, and each other.
The Year of the Runaways by
Publication Date: 2016-03-29
Three young men, and one unforgettable woman, come together in a journey from India to England, where they hope to begin something new--to support their families; to build their futures; to show their worth; to escape the past. They have almost no idea what awaits them. The Year of the Runaways unfolds over the course of one shattering year in which the destinies of these four characters become irreversibly entwined, a year in which they are forced to rely on one another in ways they never could have foreseen, and in which their hopes of breaking free of the past are decimated by the punishing realities of immigrant life.
Before We Visit the Goddess by
Publication Date: 2016-04-19
The daughter of a poor baker in rural Bengal, India, Sabitri yearns to get an education, but her family’s situation means college is an impossible dream. Then an influential woman from Kolkata takes Sabitri under her wing, but her generosity soon proves dangerous after the girl makes a single, unforgiveable misstep. Years later, Sabitri’s own daughter, Bela, haunted by her mother’s choices, flees abroad with her political refugee lover—but the America she finds is vastly different from the country she’d imagined. As the marriage crumbles and Bela is forced to forge her own path, she unwittingly imprints her own child, Tara, with indelible lessons about freedom, heartbreak, and loyalty that will take a lifetime to unravel. In her latest novel, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni explores the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, and the different kinds of love that bind us across generations. Before We Visit the Goddess captures the gorgeous complexity of these multi-generational and transcontinental bonds, sweeping across the twentieth century from the countryside of Bengal, India, to the streets of Houston, Texas—an extraordinary journey told through a sparkling symphony of voices.
A Change of Heart by
Publication Date: 2016-09-27
Dr. Nikhil 'Nic' Joshi had it all--marriage, career, purpose. Until, while working for Doctors Without Borders in a Mumbai slum, his wife, Jen, discovered a black market organ transplant ring. Before she could expose the truth, Jen was killed. Two years after the tragedy, Nic is a cruise ship doctor who spends his days treating seasickness and sunburn and his nights in a boozy haze. On one of those blurry evenings on deck, Nic meets a woman who makes a startling claim: she received Jen's heart in a transplant and has a message for him.
Exit West by
Publication Date: 2017-03-07
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.
No One Can Pronounce My Name by
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
In a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures. For some, America is a bewildering and alienating place where coworkers can't pronounce your name but will eagerly repeat the Sanskrit phrases from their yoga class. Harit, a lonely Indian immigrant in his mid forties, lives with his mother who can no longer function after the death of Harit's sister, Swati. In a misguided attempt to keep both himself and his mother sane, Harit has taken to dressing up in a sari every night to pass himself off as his sister. Meanwhile, Ranjana, also an Indian immigrant in her mid forties, has just seen her only child, Prashant, off to college. Worried that her husband has begun an affair, she seeks solace by writing paranormal romances in secret. When Harit and Ranjana's paths cross, they begin a strange yet necessary friendship that brings to light their own passions and fears.
America for Beginners by
Publication Date: 2018-07-24
Pival Sengupta has done something she never expected: she has booked a trip with the First Class India USA Destination Vacation Tour Company. But unlike other upper-class Indians on a foreign holiday, the recently widowed Pival is not interested in sightseeing. She is traveling thousands of miles from Kolkota to New York on a cross-country journey to California, where she hopes to uncover the truth about her beloved son, Rahi. A year ago Rahi devastated his very traditional parents when he told them he was gay. Then, Pival's husband, Ram, told her that their son had died suddenly--heartbreaking news she still refuses to accept. Now, with Ram gone, she is going to America to find Rahi, alive and whole or dead and gone, and come to terms with her own life.
If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by
Publication Date: 2018-07-10
In eleven sharp, surprising stories, Neel Patel gives voice to our most deeply held stereotypes and then slowly undermines them. His characters, almost all of who are first-generation Indian Americans, subvert our expectations that they will sit quietly by. We meet two brothers caught in an elaborate web of envy and loathing; a young gay man who becomes involved with an older man whose secret he could never guess; three women who almost gleefully throw off the pleasant agreeability society asks of them; and, in the final pair of linked stories, a young couple struggling against the devastating force of community gossip. If You See Me, Don't Say Hi examines the collisions of old world and new world, small town and big city, traditional beliefs (like arranged marriage) and modern rituals (like Facebook stalking).
Radiant Fugitives by
Publication Date: 2021-08-03
Working as a political activist in the early days of the Obama presidency, Seema still struggles with her father's long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian, forcing her to construct a new life in the West. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the father of her unborn son, Seema seeks reconciliation with the family that once renounced her.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by
Publication Date: 2007-04-03
At a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful meeting . . . Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by the elite "valuation" firm of Underwood Samson. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his infatuation with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore. But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his budding relationship with Erica eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.
Immigrant, Montana by
Publication Date: 2018-07-31
His new American friends call him Kalashnikov, AK-47, AK. He takes it all in his stride: he wants to fit in--and more than that, to shine. In the narrative of his years at a university in New York, AK describes the joys and disappointments of his immigrant experience; the unfamiliar political and social textures of campus life; the indelible influence of a charismatic professor--also an immigrant, his personal history as dramatic as AK's is decidedly not; the very different natures of the women he loved, and of himself in and out of love with each of them. Telling his own story, AK is both meditative and the embodiment of the enthusiasm of youth in all its idealism and chaotic desires. His wry, vivid perception of the world he's making his own, and the brilliant melding of story and reportage, anecdote and annotation, picture and text, give us a singularly engaging, insightful, and moving novel--one that explores the varieties and vagaries of cultural misunderstanding, but is, as well, an impassioned investigation of love.