BookDragon Books for the Multi-Culti Reader

An Unrestored Woman by Shobha Rao [in Library Journal]

An Unrestored Woman by Shobha Rao on BookDragon via LJ*STARRED REVIEW
Presenting her dozen stories in six interlinked pairs, Shobha Rao uses the savage 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan as her narrative center, with reverberations moving outward beyond borders, cultures, countries, and generations.

A 13-year-old’s would-be widowhood spent in a refugee camp is the best part of her difficult life in the titular tale, while her fellow refugee experiences international adventures in “The Merchant’s Mistress.” The British officer in “The Imperial Police” returns decades later as a New York doorman in “Unleashed.” A prostitute in “Blindfold” reveals her tragic matricidal sacrifice in “The Lost Ribbon.” A massacre survivor in “Kavitha and Mustafa” has his mourning granddaughter visiting Italy with her British husband in “Curfew.” In narrating Rao’s debut, Neela Vaswani moves effortlessly among myriad voices, from Indian villagers to British colonizers to contemporary women living in Manhattan high-rises.

Verdict: Absolutely impeccable, Woman joins other exquisite first multicultural collections including Daniyal Mueenuddin’s In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, Violet Kupersmith’s The Frangipani Hotel, and Krys Lee’s Drifting House.

Review: “Audio,” Library Journal, June 15, 2016

Readers: Adult

Published: 2016

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