St. Louis, Missouri, is a quietly dying river city until it hires a new police chief: a charismatic young woman from Bombay, India, named S. Jammu. No sooner has Jammu been installed, though, than the city's leading citizens become embroiled in an all-pervasive political conspiracy. A classic of contemporary fiction, The Twenty-Seventh City shows us an ordinary metropolis turned inside out, and the American dream unraveling into terror and dark comedy.
"A messy, ambitious, prognostic American novel"
It is 1554. On a rare night of rain in the desert of Rajasthan, India, a daughter, Adhira, is born to a family of Hindu temple dancers just as a new Mughal emperor takes the throne. Fearing a bleak future, her father puts his faith in tradition and in his last child for each to save the other: He insists Adhira "marry" the temple deity and give herself to a wealthy patron. But after one terrible evening, she makes a bold choice that carries her family's story and their dance to a startling new beginning.
"A fascinating debut"
The island is filled with exotic flora and fauna and perfumed air. A large family compound is presided over by a benign, stalwart grandmother. There is a very tall South Asian heroine with the astonishing un-Indian name of Meterling, who has found love at last in the shape of a short, round, elegant Englishman who wears white suits. There are also numerous aunts, uncles, and young cousins - among them, Mina, grown now, and telling this story of a marriage ceremony that ends with a widowed bride who, in the midst of her grief, discovers she is pregnant.
India, 1657: When Maya, a graceful, young temple dancer with a mysterious past, is sold into slavery, she enters a world of intrigue, violence, and forbidden love. Bought by a Portuguese trader and sold as a concubine to the dissolute vizier of Bijapur, she embarks on a treacherous journey. In a caravan led by the dangerous settlement man Da Gama, she travels by elephant on the hostile road to Bijapur, joined by Geraldo, a Portuguese adventurer, and Pathan, a handsome prince who carries a dark secret.
When their traditional business - selling saris - is increasingly sidelined by the new fashion for jeans and stitched salwar kameez, the Banwari Lal family must adapt. But instead of branching out, the sons remain apprenticed to the struggling shop and the daughters are confined to the family home. As envy and suspicion grip parents and children alike, the need for escape - whether through illicit love or in the making of pickles or the search for education - becomes ever stronger.
Virmati is the eldest of 11 children, born to a respectable family in Amritsar. Her world is shaken when she falls in love with a married man. Charismatic Harish is a respected professor and her family's tenant. Virmati takes up with Harish and finds herself living alongside his first wife. Set in Amritsar and Lahore and narrated by Virmati and her daughter, Ida, a divorcée on a quest to understand and connect with her departed mother, Difficult Daughters is a stunning tale of motherhood, love, and finding one's identity in a nation struggling to discover its own.
On and on we dream, we wish, we love — no matter that the dreams come to an end, the wishes evolve or that love dissipates like dust in the wind. Perhaps, what matters only is that we have lived long enough to dream, hard enough to wish and indisputably enough to love. One of Maria’s early memories growing up in Dhaka is of planning to run away with her friend Nadia. Even then, Maria couldn’t quite figure out why she longed to escape.
Fleeing a destroyed Earth, seventeen-year-old orphan Hope grew up living in the confines of a spaceship heading to CR-3, a new home planet. She's been kicking the steel walls for too long and ever since she broke her boyfriend's heart, touchdown could mean open air and a fresh start. But no one expected the Locals. Hope’s dreams of freedom turn into nightmares when the Locals trap the humans and mark groups for observation.
Of Rajen Mitra’s five lovely daughters, it is the youngest - the beautiful, intelligent Swati - who is the apple of her father’s eye. As she grows from an impetuous, spirited child to a lonely young woman, Swati is witness to the upheavals and joys of the Mitra family even as the country slides toward the promise of independence and the inevitability of war. Anxious to ensure that his daughters find suitable husbands, Rajen-babu realizes it is only a matter of time before his favourite child, too, must leave home.