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Archive for the ‘India’ Category

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“Set in rural India, this quietly moving tale of doomed passion, scandal and betrayal sensitively probes one family’s problems. Chchanda, the sarcastic, precocious teenage narrator, burns with resentment and insecurity when Aunt Madhulika, who raised her, brings home a fiance, selfish lawyer Pretap Singh…In sharp, shining prose Indian first novelist Aikath-Gyaltsen dissects domestic life with the gimlet precision of Jane Austen.”
– Publishers Weekly

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If you liked The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, try Out of India, or other novels and stories by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.  Jhabvala is also a gifted screenwriter, known for her work with Merchant Ivory. 

Jhabvala’s many honors include: the Booker Prize for the novel Heat and Dust, a BAFTA award for the Merchant Ivory adaptation of the novel, an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for A Room With a View, and an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Howards End.

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The best home-cooked Indian meals prepared at my house have definitely been those following Julie Sahni’s detailed, and delicious recipes for classic Indian fare, such as Baigan Masaledar (Spicy Baby Eggplant.)  If you check the reviews at amazon.com, you’ll see that people feel very strongly about this book, and I’m going on record as pro-Sahni.  The index appeals to anyone who admires a strong sense of order, with entries like:  Chicken, Indians’ special fondness for.  Yum. – R. Kutler

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“Mumbai in all its seedy glory is at the center of Vikram Chandra’s episodic novel, which follows the fortunes of two opposing characters: the jaded Sikh policeman, Sartaj Singh, who first appeared in the story ‘Kama,’ and Ganesh Gaitonde, a famous Hindu Bhai who ‘dallied with bejewelled starlets, bankrolled politicians’ and whose ‘daily skim from Bombay’s various criminal dhandas was said to be greater than annual corporate incomes.’ Sartaj, still handsome and impeccably turned out, is now divorced, weary and resigned to his post, complicit in the bribes and police brutality that oil the workings of his city. Sartaj is ambivalent about his choices, but Gaitone is hungry for position and wealth from the moment he commits his first murder as a young man.” – Publisher’s Weekly

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