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Arranged Marriage: Stories (1996)

by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

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6341529,752 (3.71)7
The possibility of change, of starting anew, in this stunning beautiful and poignant collection of short stories, is at once terrifying and filled with promise.For those Indian-born women living new lives in America, independence is a mixed blessing.It means walking the tightrope between old treasured beliefs and surprising newfound desires, and understanding the emotions which that conflict brings.Together these stories create a tapestry of existence as colourful, as delicate and as enduring as the finest silk sari.… (more)
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English (13)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
The author's short stories are all about arranged marriages, mostly with men in the USA with women from West Bengal, coming from ordinary backgrounds and then going wrong. This is not the case in real life (at least in the UK). I wish, the author could have some happy ending in some stories. ( )
  sujitacharyya | Sep 25, 2021 |
The writing is not bad; good even. It's the stories that pull the book down to two stars. I found most, if not all, of the stories really depressing, and hard to connect to. It was more like an observation. The one that I possibly enjoyed the most was the one with the maid servant - not because the story was uplifting but because it was an engaging and relatively "lively" story.

I also found that the book lacked to make a statement. Both arranged marriage and "love" marriage situations are shown to be miserable. It didn't really reflect "arranged marriage" in modern India at all. As someone who grew up there in the 90s, the world presented in this book is mostly foreign to me. This book is a confused pile of depressing stories and fails to make an impact or take a stance. If this book was a person, I would tell it: "Have a dream... but pick one!"

Hopefully her other works are better. ( )
  meowism | May 17, 2016 |

I normally love her work, as most of it is uplifting w/ a mixture of spirituality & magical realism. This book of short stories fell short for me.

It was because there was nothing redeeming about the misogynistic culture and feudal expectations that the women in these stories had to live with & endure.

Lyrical as the writing was, the romance of India was portrayed for what it is/was.... oppressing.

I'm glad I read it, but it left me wanting one of her other "feel good" stories. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
In her debut collection of short stories, Divakaruni explores the ways in which women raised with traditional values try to balance the realities of a new existence in America.

I love short stories and there are some really great ones in this collection. Most deal with the push/pull a woman experiences when she feels honor bound to long-held traditional beliefs, yet tempted to break free in a new country with very different rules. The women in these stories struggle to find their place, sometimes suffering great loss while breaking free from the restraints of centuries of tradition. They range from college students living with relatives, to young brides, to single professional women, to long-married middle-aged wives and mothers.

The women may be different form one another, and very different from me, but I was able to connect to each and every one of them. We share the struggle between living up to others’ expectations and following our own dreams.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
*Loved* this collection. ( )
  mirshad | May 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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my mother, Tatini, with gratitude
my husband, Murthy, with love
my sons, Anand and Abhay, with hope
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That year Mother cried a lot, nights.
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The possibility of change, of starting anew, in this stunning beautiful and poignant collection of short stories, is at once terrifying and filled with promise.For those Indian-born women living new lives in America, independence is a mixed blessing.It means walking the tightrope between old treasured beliefs and surprising newfound desires, and understanding the emotions which that conflict brings.Together these stories create a tapestry of existence as colourful, as delicate and as enduring as the finest silk sari.

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A debut collection of stories featuring Indian-born women whose ties to tradition and memories of home intrude on their new lives in America. Each story is complete in itself, but together they create a tapestry as colorful, as delicate, and as enduring as the finest silk sari.
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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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