The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

Review   Summary Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash …

A Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

Review   Summary When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built …

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

Ok, first of all I’ve got to admit that I’ve become a big fan of Rushdie’s writing style, in spite of the fact that I think he’s kind of an arrogant dillhole. However, his writing style is VERY unique and certainly not for everyone, so keep in mind that you might react to his books …

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Unaccustomed Earth is a collection of complex and subtly woven short stories. Ever the master of bringing to light the elusive complexity of the family bond, Lahiri reveals the intricacies of family history, parenting, love, loss and the pressures of immigration. Reminiscent of The Namesake, both in style and in subject matter, we are carried …

Awakening Kali by T.S. Ghosh

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. In Awakening Kali, Ghosh relates the story of a woman named Chhaya who struggles with mental illness. She is mistreated by her family in her early life, not only because she is a girl, and therefore a burden, but …

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

The plot of Midnight’s Children revolves around the life of Saleem Sinai, a boy born in Bombay at the exact stroke of midnight when India achieved independence from British rule. Due to this ominous birth, Saleem’s life (and the lives of 1,000 other children born during that midnight hour) becomes magically and devastatingly intertwined with the life of the new India. Remember how, in Forest Gump, Gump always stumbles into some important moment in history by accident, or how his actions somehow lead to an important event taking place? Midnight’s Children is like that, but the tale is woven and braided together in such a complicated pattern that it’s difficult to understand how only one mind could have contained and produced it all. Elements repeat subtly and enchantingly; sorrow and joy are intertwined with such complexity that one feels, upon finishing the book, that one has lived through someone else’s lifetime—it’s exhausting and disorienting to say the least, and yet it’s an experience unparalleled in all my years of reading.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo

As an anthropologist, I’m always torn when I read books about other cultures, straddling the line between a fascination with how other people live and think and a hyper-critical eye toward how those people are represented. That is, until I discovered Behind the Beautiful Forevers. The story is one of incredible insight and nuance. Although …