An Unrestored Woman

An Unrestored Woman

Book - 2016
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The twelve paired stories in Shobha Rao's An Unrestored Woman trace their origins to the formation of India and Pakistan in 1947, but they transcend that historical moment. A young woman in a crushingly loveless marriage seizes freedom in the only way left to her; a mother is forced to confront a chilling, unforgiveable crime she committed out of love; an ambitious servant seduces both master and mistress; a young prostitute quietly, inexorably plots revenge on the madam who holds her hostage; a husband and wife must forgive each other for the death of their child. Caught in extreme states of tension, in a world of shifting borders, of instability, Rao's characters must rely on their own wits. When Partition established Pakistan and India as sovereign states, the new boundary resulted in a colossal transfer of people, the largest peacetime migration in human history. This mass displacement echoes throughout Rao's story couplets, which range across the twentieth century, moving beyond the subcontinent to Europe and America. Told with dark humor and ravaging beauty, An Unrestored Woman unleashes a fearless new voice on the literary scene.
Publisher: New York :, Flatiron Books,, 2016
Edition: First edition
Description: xii, 244 pages ; 22 cm
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781250118721
1250118727
9781250073822
1250073820
Branch Call Number: RaoS

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Michael Colford May 18, 2016

Shobha Rao has created a powerful and elegant collection of short stories around the separation of India and Pakistan in 1947. While the stories take place all around the world, the characters in this story are all experiencing the effects of the uprooting and displacement of families. Women in particular face a rough ride during this time and in this culture, but Rao spares no one in this hard-hitting, yet thoughtful collection that explores race, class, religion, sexuality, and love during a tumultuous time.

An Unrestored Woman heralds the debut of a talented writer. Each short story is like a drop of water in the desert, leaving a parched throat aching for more. I can't wait to see what Rao does with a full-length novel.

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