Reading guide for Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee

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Desirable Daughters

A Novel

by Bharati Mukherjee

Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2002, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2003, 320 pages

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Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. What does the title mean, and who are the Desirable Daughters in this story?

  2. What do you learn about Tara and her family through the ancient story of Tara Lata Gangooly?

  3. Examine what Tara means when she says she is "exploring the making of a consciousness. . . . No. Yours." (page 5) Discuss whether or not this is a central theme of the book, and why.

  4. When do you begin to doubt "Chris Dey's" story and why is Tara dismissive of her sister Parvati's take on it?

  5. Why is Andy so off base about Chris Dey and Bish more responsive?

  6. Explore why Didi, who as a child eschewed her family and culture, leads a traditional Bengali life in New Jersey?

  7. On page 33, look at the paragraph beginning "Bengali culture. . . ." Discuss the idea that the narrator is also describing an essential dilemma of cultures.

  8. Look at the Tennyson poem on page 132. What does it mean -– on its own and in the story?

  9. Why are there so many houses prominently featured throughout the story, and what is symbolic about Tara's home being destroyed?

  10. Why does Tara say to Rabi, "remember, this is a miracle"? (page 310)

Copyright © 2001 by Bharati Mukherjee. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Hyperion. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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