Books about Indian Diaspora

Indians make up the largest diaspora in the world, here are their stories.
Indian-fiction indian-diaspora india indian-novel
The Amity Affliction - Pittsburg
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Transmission

by Hari Kunzru

About the book:  Hari Kunzru's Transmission is a witty novel about cyberspace, a Bollywood dancer and a world where everyone is connected. It's the twenty-first century, and everything and everyone is connected. Meet Arjun Mehta, an Indian cybergeek catapulted into California's spiralling hi-tech sector; Leela Zahir, beguiling Bollywood actress filming in the midge-infested Scottish wilds; and Guy Swift, hyped-up marketing exec lost in a blue-sky tomorrow of his own devising. Three dislocated individuals seeking nodes of connectivity - a place to fit in. Yet this is the twenty-first century, and their lives are about to become unexpectedly entangled as a virus spreads, and all their futures are rewired. But will it take them further from their dreams, or closer to their hearts? 'An aphoristic joke, a neat turn of phrase; a joke that makes you laugh . . . there's nothing Kunzru couldn't manage in prose. Thoroughly engrossing' Literary Review 'Funny, heartfelt and beautifully written, confirms Kunzru as one of the most talented writers of his generation' Image 'Very enjoyable, I couldn't put it down. Funny and wry; it is deftly plotted; its characters intimately drawn. Blissful' Observer 'Utterly affecting, a novel with devastating satirical bite' Financial Times Hari Kunzru is the author of the novels The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions and Gods Without Men, and the story collection Noise. He lives in New York.

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The Namesake

by Jhumpa Lahiri

About the book:  An incisive portrait of the immigrant experience follows the Ganguli family from their traditional life in India through their arrival in Massachusetts in the late 1960s and their difficult melding into an American way of life, in a debut novel that spans three decades, two continents, and two generations. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Interpreter of Maladies. Reprint.

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A House For Mr Biswas

by V.S. Naipaul

About the book:  With an introduction by Teju Cole He was struck again and again by the wonder of being in his own house, the audacity of it: to walk in through his own front gate, to bar entry to whoever he wished, to close his doors and windows every night. Mr. Biswas has been told since the day of his birth that misfortune will follow him - and so it has. Meaning only to avoid punishment, he causes the death of his father and the dissolution of his family. Wanting simply to flirt with a beautiful woman, he ends up marrying her, and reluctantly relying on her domineering family for support. But in spite of endless setbacks, Mr. Biswas is determined to achieve independence, and so he begins his gruelling struggle to buy a home of his own. A House for Mr Biswas is Nobel Prize in Literature winner V. S. Naipaul's unforgettable masterpiece. Heart-rending and darkly comic, it has been hailed as one of the twentieth century's finest novels, a classic that evokes a man's quest for autonomy against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad. 'A work of great comic power qualified with firm and unsentimental compassion' Anthony Burgess 'A marvellous prose epic that matches the best nineteenth-century novels' Newsweek

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The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing

by Mira Jacob

About the book:  Of all the family gatherings in her childhood, one stands out in Amina's memory. It is 1979, in Salem India, when a visit to her grandmother's house escalates into an explosive encounter, pitching brother against brother, mother against son. In its aftermath, Amina's father Thomas rushes his family back to their new home in America. And while at first it seems that the intercontinental flight has taken them out of harm's way, his decision sets off a chain of events that will forever haunt Thomas and his wife Kamala; their intellectually furious son, Akhil and the watchful young Amina. Now, twenty years later, Amina receives a phone call from her mother. Thomas has been acting strangely and Kamala needs her daughter back. Amina returns to the New Mexico of her childhood, where her mother has always filled silences with food, only to discover that getting to the truth is not as easy as going home. Confronted with Thomas's unwillingness to talk, Kamala's Born Again convictions, and the suspicion that not everything is what it seems, Amina finds herself at the centre of a mystery so tangled that to make any headway, she has to excavate her family's painful past. And in doing so she must lay her own ghosts to rest.

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Fasting, Feasting

by Anita Desai

About the book:  Plain, unmarriageable Uma has failed to outgrow her childhood home, with its bittersweet treats of puri-alu and barfi. Overprotected and starved for a life, she is smothered by her overbearing parents, successful sister Aruna, and Arun, the family’s disappointment of a son. Across the world in Massachusetts, where Arun has gone as a student, family life in an American suburb is bewilderingly different. The Pattons, who he lives with, appear strange and terrible. The women don’t appear to cook at all, though they stuff their shopping carts; the men barbecue huge chunks of meat; their daughter binges on innumerable candy bars. Increasingly, Mrs Patton is desperate to be a vegetarian, like Arun. But what Arun wants most is to be invisible. Moving from a traditional Indian household to an American one, Fasting, Feasting is a powerful exploration of hunger and plenty, and one of Anita Desai’s most socially acute novels.

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The Inscrutable Americans

by Anurag Mathur

About the book:  This quirky novel - a besteller in India - chronicles an Indian student's year abroad at an American university. Gopal's hilarious misadventures with the American language, his flamboyant landlady, the ubiquitous hamburger, and, most of all, American women form the basis for this wonderfully truthful story. Faced with the relentless sexuality of his fellow college students, the quintessentially decent Gopal reacts with a mixture of disbelief, sly amusement, and hormonal overload. Throughout his battles with racism, his own insecurity, and his family's warning that he will be severely judged should he dabble in America's temptations, Gopal retains a dignity and surprising shrewdness, rejecting the worst of what American offers even as he recognizes the best. Following reluctantly behind the outrageous leadership of his American friend Randy, the naive but observant Gopal reacts with a wit that far transcends his linguistic limitations.

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The Inheritance of Loss

by Kiran Desai

About the book:  In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desai’s brilliant novel, published to huge acclaim, is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world.

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Jasmine

by Bharati Mukherjee

About the book:  When Jasmine is suddenly widowed at seventeen, she seems fated to a life of quiet isolation in the small Indian village where she was born. But the force of Jasmine's desires propels her explosively into a larger, more dangerous, and ultimately more life-giving world. In just a few years, Jasmine becomes Jane Ripplemeyer, happily pregnant by a middle-aged Iowa banker and the adoptive mother of a Vietnamese refugee. Jasmine's metamorphosis, with its shocking upheavals and its slow evolutionary steps, illuminates the making of an American mind; but even more powerfully, her story depicts the shifting contours of an America being transformed by her and others like her -- our new neighbors, friends, and lovers. In Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee has created a heroine as exotic and unexpected as the many worlds in which she lives. "Rich…one of the most suggestive novels we have about what it is to become an American." -- The New York Times Book Review

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Problems

by Jade Sharma

About the book:  Dark, raw, and very funny, Problems introduces us to Maya, a young woman with a smart mouth, time to kill, and a heroin hobby that isn't much fun anymore. Maya's been able to get by in New York on her wits and a dead-end bookstore job for years, but when her husband leaves her and her favorite professor ends their affair, her barely-calibrated life descends into chaos, and she has to make some choices. Maya's struggle to be alone, to be a woman, and to be thoughtful and imperfect and alive in a world that doesn't really care what happens to her is rendered with dead-eyed clarity and unnerving charm. This book takes every tired trope about addiction and recovery, "likeable" characters, and redemption narratives, and blows them to pieces. Emily Books is a publishing project and ebook subscription service whose focus is on transgressive writers of the past, present and future, with an emphasis on the writing of women, trans and queer people, writing that blurs genre distinctions and is funny, challenging, and provocative. Jade Sharma is a writer living in New York. She has an MFA from the New School.

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Past Continuous

by Yaakov Shabtai

About the book:  Past Continuous is a brilliant tour de force, a Joycean panorama of the lives of three men, their families, their lovers, and their friends in the quintessentially modern city of Tel Aviv. It is as much a novel about Tel Aviv-its landscape, its idiosyncratic atmosphere, and its history-as it is about the human condition.

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Two Lives

by Vikram Seth

About the book:  Vikram Seth'S Captivating Book Is The Story Of A Century And Of A Love Affair Across A Racial Divide Shanti Behari Seth Was Born On The Eighth Day Of The Eighth Month In The Eighth Year Of The Twentieth Century; He Died Two Years Before Its Close. He Was Brought Up In India In The Late Years Of The Raj, And Was Sent By His Family In The 1930S To Berlin Though He Could Not Speak A Word Of German To Study Medicine And Dentistry. It Was Here, Before He Migrated To Britain, That Shanti'S Path First Crossed That Of His Future Wife. Henny Gerda Caro Was Also Born In 1908, In Berlin, To A Jewish Family, Cultured, Patriotic And Intensely German. When The Family Decided To Have Shanti As A Lodger, Henny S First Reaction Was, 'Don'T Take The Black Man!' But A Friendship Flowered, And When Henny Fled Hitler'S Germany For England, Just One Month Before The War Broke Out, She Was Met At Victoria Station By The Only Person She Knew In The Country: Shanti. Vikram Seth, Their Great-Nephew From India, Arrived In This Childless Couple'S Life As A Teenage Student. Now He Has Woven Together The Astonishing Story Of Shanti And Henny, And The Result Is An Extraordinary Tapestry Of India, The Third Reich And The Second World War, Auschwitz And The Holocaust, Israel And Palestine, Postwar Germany And 1970S Britain. Two Lives Is Both A History Of A Violent Country Seen Through The Eyes Of Two Survivors As Well As An Intimate Portrait Of Their Friendship, Marriage And Abiding Yet Complex Love. Part Biography, Part Memoir, Part Meditation On Our Times, This Is The True Tale Of Two Remarkable Lives A Masterful Telling From One Of Our Greatest Living Writers. Click Here To See Vikram Seth'S Microsite

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