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Showing posts from September, 2016

The Wangs v/s The World - Jade Chang

This book makes a grand appearance on my blog because of 3 main reasons: It is a debut novel (I love debuts because I believe that ‘firsts’ are always special)It doesn’t entirely fit in with the genre that I review (Asia yes, South Asia, No)It’s been published by a legendary publication house i.e. Penguin which I have adored for a long time now (I was over the moon to receive a copy of this book to review)The Wangs v/s The World is a family saga that has at its very pulse the Great American Dream. It beautifully narrates how a Chinese immigrant makes this dream a reality and how suddenly because of an economic catastrophe that dream is swiftly shattered. But don’t be disappointed as the story draws out rather skilfully the resilience of the human spirit and its ability to adapt.
Charles Wang our main protagonist is a rich businessman owning a successful cosmetics company that feeds the American appetite of make-up and flamboyance. The 2008 economic crisis brings him and his family fort…

Dollar Bahu - Sudha Murty

I remember whilst growing up in the 90s in India, ‘abroad’ or ‘foreign’ were marks of status.  Through some warped sense of perception, anything from the west was better (“obviously”!). I have a peculiar memory of going to school one day only to find out that I wasn’t allowed to borrow some stationery from a classmate as it was ‘from abroad’ and therefore very precious. ‘Dollar Bahu’ serves to challenge this very mind-set that some of us fall prey to.
Sudha Murty is a wonderful narrator and her writing style is akin to listening to your mother or another older female relative narrating an engaging story with the right amount of drama, humour and nostalgia. At the heart of Murthy’s story is Vinuta who is a humble middle class woman who lives with her husband, son and in laws. She is very thoughtful and hardworking. However, she is not as glamorous as her husband’s brother’s wife who lives in the US and makes a grand impression on their mother in law. The constant comparisons and fulfil…