Vijay Lakshmi author of Pomegranate Dreams and other stories (IndiaLog)
Seven stories that move you to tears and laughter, and the tornado of a novella that churns up everything in its path. These appear as a collection for the first time.
The stories, narrated by sensitive women, offer a distillation of the emotional highs and lows experienced by people newly joining a western society. The novella, on the other hand, chronicles the hopes, despair, and dreams of a young girl growing up in a new land, while distraught by the memories of the old home. Altogether, this witty fiction, by turns tender, comic, or satirical, recounts the unexpected turns to which the life of an immigrant is invariably treated. In essence, though, it bears the hallmark of the novel experience of all human communities everywhere.
Vijay Lakshmi's keen reflections surprise the readers at the turn of each page, even as her narrative invites them to ruminate upon the human river flowing through city streets, meandering through slums and suburbs, littered with broken lives and their tacky dreams. If her stories rely upon lyrical symbolism, the novella resorts to mythical analogs for its subliminal messages, using bits of ancient Indian mythology to interpret and critique the newcomer's experience of living in western societies.
Born and educated in India and the States, Vijay Lakshmi, a critic and social commentator, writes of the psychological conflicts and moral dilemmas of the Indian women settling in western societies. Her fiction, lyrical and intense, portrays the alienation and the pathos of the life lived in a contemporary metropolis, whether American, European, or Indian. Her awards include a Senior Fulbright Fellowship at Yale University, and Editor's Prize from Orbis (U.K.) for her story "Touchline." Two of her other stories – "Mannequin" and "Distances" – have been translated into French and Chinese.
The stories are absolutely convincing.... And Pomegranate Dreams material is so rich, the girl's family so intriguing, and the theme of assimilation of such importance that the piece feels to me like a novella longing to be a novel."
– Paule Marshall, author, Brown Girl, Brownstones
"Vijay Lakshmi's fiction reaches out with strong beauty to a community of minds located in a transnational space. Her urbane rhythms, alert to diasporic dislocations, continue to hark back to her Indian past."
– Jaysinh Birjepatil, Professor of English, Marlboro College, Vermont
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