From acclaimed and beloved author Chitra Banerjee Divakarunicomes a new collection of moving stories about family, culture, and the seduction of memory. With the rich prose and keen insight that made Mistress of Spicesand Sister of My Heart national bestsellers, these tales of journeys and returns, of error, of loss and recovery, all resound with her unique understanding of the human spirit.
"Don't we all have to pay, no matter what we choose?"a young woman asks in "The Love of a Good Man," one of the unforgettable stories in Chitra Divakaruni's beautifully crafted exploration of the tensions between new lives and old. In tales set in India and the United States, she illuminates the transformations of personal landscapes, real and imagined, brought about by the choices men and women make at every stage of their lives.
"The Love of a Good Man" tells of an Indian woman happily settled in the United States who must confront the past when her long-estranged father begs to meet his only grandson. In the acclaimed "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter", a widow, inadvertently eavesdropping, discovers that her cherished, old-fashioned ways are an embarrassment to her daughter-in-law. A young American woman joins a pilgrimage of women in Kashmir and, in the land of her ancestors, comes to view herself and her family in a new light in "The Lives of Strangers." Two women, uprooted from their native land by violence and deception, find unexpected comfort and hope in each other in "The Blooming Season for Cacti." And in the title story, a young woman turns to her painting and the wisdom of her grandmother for the strength to accept her fiance's past when it arrives on her doorstep.
Whether writing about the adjustments of immigrants to a foreign land or the accommodations families make to the disruptive differences between generations, Divakaruni poignantly portrays the eternal struggle to find a balance between the pull of home and the allure of change.
Evocative tales which explore the gulf between the beliefs and traditions of India and those of modern America, mostly seen from the viewpoint of the Indian mother's whose children have made America their homeland. Across the nine stories, written in her usual sensuous and lyrical style, Divakaruni explores the emotional dislocation of the 'time machine called immigration'.
New York Times Book Review
Mrs. Divakaruni's stories are as irresistible as the impulse that leads her characters to surface into maturity, raising their heads above floods of silver ignorance.
The New Yorker
Divakaruni's prose is so pungent that it stains the page, yet beneath the sighs and smells of this brand of magic realism she deftly introduces her true theme how an ability to accommodate desire enlivens not only the individual heart but a society cornered by change.
Her literary voice is a sensual bridge between worlds. India and America. Children and parents. Men and women. Passion and pragmatism.
Intensely touching tales of lapsed communication, inarticulate love and redemptive memories. This is a mixed collection, then, but one worth reading for the predominance of narratives that ring true...
Booklist - Donna Seaman
These hauntingly beautiful stories of epiphany and catharsis place Divakaruni in the vanguard of fine literary writers who touch a broad spectrum of readers.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by geetha The Unknown Errors I thought some of the stories are not clear. I found many of the characters are like real characters.
Rated of 5
I thought this book was amazingly well-written and extremely 'real'. Having grown up half of my life in the West and half in the East, I could relate to many, many issues that were discussed. The first story "Mrs Dutta writes a letter"... Read More
This gorgeous first novel is the deeply moving story of one woman, Nazneen, born in a Bangladeshi village and transported to London at age eighteen to enter into an arranged marriage.
These are 2 of the 4 readalike suggestions for The Unknown Errors of Our Lives. Members have full access to all readalikes. If you are a member, please login. To find out more about membership, click here.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...