Sharifa is an Indian American woman living in New York. She accompanies her husband and 7-year-old daughter to India for an 8-month visit to Mumbai. In India, she researches the life of her great-great-grandfather, but increasingly becomes involved in a movement to ban female genital mutilation (khatna) in her Muslim religious community. This is a very strong story of kinship and community, and the damage to women’s bodies in the name of religion.
In 1996, a terrorist bomb explodes in a Delhi market. The story that emerges is about the aftermath for the victims and the activists and terrorists. Thus, it is the psychological aftermath: the cost to survivors, the motivation of terrorists. The ripple effects of this 1996 bomb expand to a subsequent bomb in 2003. This is a very strong story with beautiful writing set in the compelling chaos of India.
A sweeping saga of India, mostly in contemporary times (1984-2014). Part of the book is set in Delhi but much takes place in Kashmir (topical given today’s political events). Ms. Roy’s writing is exceptional; impeccable detail means that the reader can feel the sensations of noise, heat, pollution and misery, violence and ethnic cleansing. Her vivid writing captures the chaotic complexity of India. And the main characters are women.
A story of two women in contemporary Mumbai India who have a difficult life for three reasons: they are women, they are poor, and they are on their own. This is a powerful story of survival and the struggle to attain some degree of dignity.
A sweeping story of a multi-generational Indian family near Madras: a mean-spirited mother of two, a spinster daughter aged 42 and the older brother Sripathi who is the major figure in this story. Sripathi is married with a stay-at-home son and an estranged daughter living in Vancouver. Sripathi is angry is angry with life: his job; corruption in India; but his major disappointment is his family relationships, in particular his daughter who defied him by rejecting an arranged marriage. All live in a single big house that is decaying literally. A very important element in this book is dealing with change, their declining standard of living. When their estranged daughter is killed in a traffic accident, the 7-year-old grand-daughter (who they have never met) comes to live with them, a fourth generation, forcing them to cope (poorly) with even more change. This is a very fine book about India.
A Giller finalist and another WordFest author. This is a sweeping story from the early 1980s in India to the 1985 Air India bombing, and the aftermath leading to the trial in 2004. A search for coping mechanisms for grief produces a very strong story with distinctive characters, both in India but mainly in Canada.
This is a compelling story of relationships: two brothers, husband-wife, and most complicated, child-parents. Typical of most Lahiri’s writing, this story takes place in both India and USA. (Jhumpa Lahiri previously wrote short stories – The Namesake).