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Mukherjee, whose short story collection "The Middleman" won the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award, presents a masterful meditation on marriage and family ties.
This is the remarkable story of Hannah Easton, a unique woman born in the American colonies in 1670, "a person undreamed of in Puritan society." Inquisitive, vital and awake to her own possibilities, Hannah travels to Mughal, India, with her husband, an English trader. There, she sets her own course, "translating" herself into the Salem Bibi, the white lover of a Hindu Raja. It is also the story of Beigh Masters, born in New England in the mid-twentieth century, an "asset hunter" who stumbles on the scattered record of her distant relative's life while tracking a legendary diamond. As Beigh pieces together details of Hannah's journeys, she finds herself drawn into the most intimate and spellbinding fabric of that remote life, confirming her belief that with "sufficient passion and intelligence, we can deconstruct the barriers of time and geography..."
"An amazing literary feat and a masterpiece of storytelling. Once again, Bharati Mukherjee proveshe is one of our foremost writers, with the literary muscles to weave both the future and the past into a tale that is singularly intelligent and provocative."--AMY TAN. This is the remarkable story of Hannah Easton, a unique woman born in the American colonies in 1670, "a person undreamed of in Puritan society." Inquisitive, vital and awake to her own possibilities, Hannah travels to Mughal, India, with her husband, and English trader. There, she sets her own course, "translating" herself into the Salem Bibi, the white lover of a Hindu raja. It is also the story of Beigh Masters, born in New England in the mid-twentieth century, an "asset hunter" who stumbles on the scattered record of her distant relative's life while tracking a legendary diamond. As Beigh pieces together details of Hannah's journeys, she finds herself drawn into the most intimate and spellbinding fabric of that remote life, confirming her belief that with "sufficient passion and intelligence, we can deconstruct the barriers of time and geography...".
When Jasmine is suddenly widowed at seventeen, she seems fated to a life of quiet isolation in the small Indian village where she was born. But the force of Jasmine's desires propels her explosively into a larger, more dangerous, and ultimately more life-giving world. In just a few years, Jasmine becomes Jane Ripplemeyer, happily pregnant by a middle-aged Iowa banker and the adoptive mother of a Vietnamese refugee. Jasmine's metamorphosis, with its shocking upheavals and its slow evolutionary steps, illuminates the making of an American mind; but even more powerfully, her story depicts the shifting contours of an America being transformed by her and others like her -- our new neighbors, friends, and lovers. In "Jasmine", Bharati Mukherjee has created a heroine as exotic and unexpected as the many worlds in which she lives.
"A very fine writer, funny, intelligent, versatile and, on occasion, unexpectedly profound."--The Washington Post Book World. "MUKHERJEE IS FEARLESS ... DARING AND WITTY . . . Take the wild ride with Debby DiMartino from Albany to San Francisco, from lost child to masked avenger."--The Boston Globe. "POWERFULLY WRITTEN ... Debby has no memory of her birth parents. All she knows is that she was born in a remote Indian village, the daughter of a hippie back-packing mother and a mysterious Eurasian father, both of whom have disappeared almost without a trace. ... Her quest for her biological parents turns into an obsession. ... Leave It to Me ... shows Mukherjee at the peak of her craft. ... Mixing the Greek myth of Electra with the Indian myth of Devi, she sends Devi/Debby careening down on the Bay Area like an elemental force of vengeance."--San Francisco Chronicle. "DEVI IS A BRILLIANT CREATION--hilarious, horribly knowing and even more horribly oblivious--through whom Bharati Mukherjee, with characteristic and shameless ingenuity, is laying claim to speak for an America that isn't 'other' at all."--The New York Times Book Review. "STUNNING ... An astute, ironic, and merciless insight into an aberrant version of the American dream."--Publishers Weekly (starred review).
These beautifully wrought stories reveal a new world that has been created imperceptibly in our midst: a United States transformed by many new faces from Afghanistan and Asia, from Uganda and Latin America. These immigrants have in turn been transformed by the "idea" of living in America. Passionate, comic, violent, and ultimately tender, these stories portray our latest arrivals in all their richness and variety, reflected in American eyes equally varied with fear, love, suspicion, or pure astonishment.
Anjali Bose's prospects don't look great. Born into a traditional lower-middle-class family, she lives in a backwater town with only an arranged marriage on the horizon. But her ambition, charm, and fluency in language do not go unnoticed by her charismatic and influential expat teacher Peter Champion. And champion her he does, both to powerful people who can help her along the way and to Anjali herself, stirring in her a desire to take charge of her own destiny. So she sets off to Bangalore, India's fastest-growing metropolis, and soon falls in with an audacious and ambitious crowd of young people, who have learned how to sound American by watching shows like Seinfeld in order to get jobs in call centers, where they quickly out-earn their parents. And it is in this high-tech city where Anjali -- suddenly free of the confines of class, caste, and gender -- is able to confront her past and reinvent herself. Of course, the seductive pull of life in the New India does not come without a dark side . . .
Novel that examines moving from one culture to another, and how it's not always possible to the new one.
In piecing together her ancestor's transformation from a docile Bengali Brahmin girl-child into an impassioned organizer of resistance against the British Raj, the contemporary narrator discovers and lays claim to unacknowledged elements in her "American" identity.
Dimple Dasgupta had set her heart on marrying a neurosurgeon, but her father was looking for engineers in the matrimonial ads. So begins the wry story of an obedient daughter of middle-class Indian parents who is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Driven first to shock and then to despair, Dimple lives in a waking dream. And when her fantasies take a violent turn, she wonders where wishes end and reality begins...
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