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From the PEN/Malamud Award-winning author of Lucky Girls comes an intricately woven novel about secrets, love, art, identity, and the shining chaos of every day American life. Yuan Zhao, a celebrated Chinese performance artist and political dissident, has accepted a one-year artist's residency in Los Angeles. He is to be a Visiting Scholar at the St. Anselm's School for Girls, teaching advanced art, and hosted by one of the school's most devoted families: the wealthy if dysfunctional Traverses. The Traverses are too preoccupied with their own problems to pay their foreign guest too much attention, and the dissident is delighted to be left alone--his past links with radical movements give him good reason to avoid careful scrutiny. The trouble starts when he and his American hosts begin to view one another with clearer eyes.
These five stories follow young women living far from home, coping with new and often unfamiliar rules, as they confront the compelling circumstances of adult love. The rich, unforgettable tales in this collection, set in Southeast Asia and on the Indian subcontinent, showcase a writer of exceptional talent, one of today's most gifted and exciting young voices.
A powerful, funny, richly observed tour de force by one of America's most acclaimed young writers: a story of love and marriage, secrets and betrayals, that takes us from the backyards of America to the back alleys and villages of Bangladesh.In The Newlyweds, we follow the story of Amina Mazid, who at age twenty-four moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York, for love. A hundred years ago, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. But this is an arranged marriage for the twenty-first century: Amina is wooed by--and woos--George Stillman online. For Amina, George offers a chance for a new life and a different kind of happiness than she might find back home. For George, Amina is a woman who doesn't play games. But each of them is hiding something: someone from the past they thought they could leave behind. It is only when they put an ocean between them--and Amina returns to Bangladesh--that she and George find out if their secrets will tear them apart, or if they can build a future together. The Newlyweds is a surprising, suspenseful story about the exhilarations--and real-life complications--of getting, and staying, married. It stretches across continents, generations, and plains of emotion. What has always set Nell Freudenberger apart is the sly, gimlet eye she turns on collisions of all kinds--sexual, cultural, familial. With The Newlyweds, she has found her perfect subject for that vision, and characters to match. She reveals Amina's heart and mind, capturing both her new American reality and the home she cannot forget, with seamless authenticity, empathy, and grace. At once revelatory and affecting, The Newlyweds is a stunning achievement.