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The Red Carpet: Bangalore Stories
Wry humor and a delicious grasp of the friction between generations in Bangalore are the hallmarks of Lavanya Sankaran’s fresh, deeply nuanced debut collection. “A potpourri of beggars and billionaires and determinedly laid-back ways,” Bangalore, India’s own Silicon Valley, is a crucible for prosperity, and at the chaotic crossroads between past and present. Here, American-trained professionals like Tara return to their old-fashioned families with heads full of Quentin Tarantino dialogue; a successful entrepreneur is shaken when his partner suddenly reneges on their plan to return to America; a traditional Indian mother slyly circumvents her Western-educated daughter’s resistance to marriage; a neighborhood gossip is determined to discover what goes on behind the closed curtains of the hip young couple across the street; a chauffeur must reconcile his more orthodox credos with his employer’s miniskirt lifestyle.
Witty, affectionate, and wonderfully wise, Lavanya Sankaran’s first collection attests to her remarkable literary talent.
A very enjoyable and nostalgic read
- December 26, 2005
As an Indian who was raised in india and spent time in bangalore and now lives in the US, this book was a walk down memory lane for me. The characters and events portrayed were so real and the issues dealt with are so current...the clash of cultures, the bizarre blend of western lifestyles and indian society, the clash of new money and old values, the depiction of iyer brahmins etc....
I made a recent visit to Bangalore and read this book after my return and I was shocked at how closely these stories mirrored the lives and choices of many of my contemporaries back "home".
some of the writing was a little cliched and verbose but overall I enjoyed it so much that i re-read some of the stories. I honestly felt homesick when I read her stories.
learn what they think of us
By Gwendolyn S. Driscoll
- May 18, 2005
So much has been written about the destructive effect of US popular culture on foreign lands that it's refreshing to see these witty portraits of people who have openly embraced the west - despite the conflict it brings. The modern young things written about in this book are from Bangalore, that globalization zeitgeist into which so many US jobs have reportedly dissappeared. In transforming itself from a sleepy and traditional Indian bastion into a high-speed western replica, the city - and its people - test their families and each other in their attempts to balance what they love most about the two cultures. For Americans who aren't really aware of the effect even the most innocuous American "pop culture" can have on the world outside - "The Red Carpet" is worthwhile reading.
Warm, witty look at India's "Silicon Valley"
By A. Van Slyke
- August 9, 2005
It is a clash of new and old in Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley. The moderh Indians, the ABCD's (American Born, Confused Desai) and the Old Guard are captured with love, wit and a sharp pen. The characters are well drawn and make you wish that you could reach out and speak with them.
I sat down with this book and did not move until I finished. More please.
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