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Desi Girls: Stories by Indian Women Writers Abroad

This collection of 22 short stories from gifted writers - some new, some well known to their readers - covers a multitude of experiences in the wider world outside India. Coping with the customs and expectations in the countries where they are now living, the mainly female characters in these tales have to choose whether to cling to their Indian culture, discard it completely, or learn how to adjust and compromise. It's a challenge! Themes of courtship, marriage and betrayal - of losing and re-forming one's identity while trying to live up to Indian ideals of behaviour in an alien environment - contain all the vibrancy of India herself. And amidst the fragrance, colour and beloved familiarity of the rituals that accompany the characters, many varied and sometimes disturbing dramas are played out. These stories are the expressions of women who have chosen to live away from their native land and who have evolved in the countries where they now live. Through their characters and the unique structure of the short story - with its classic sting in the tail - they offer us a viewpoint and a commentary on the countries they have adopted.

Divya Mathur is a writer and poet based in London.

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