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literature by a promising writer such as Chitra Divakaruni. The title of this fine volume of short stories disturbed me at first. Although Arranged Marriage does not. Although Chitra Divakaruni’s poetry has won praise and awards for many years, it is her “luminous, exquisitely crafted prose” (Ms.) that is quickly making her one. Although Chitra Divakaruni’s poetry has won praise and awards for many years, Arranged Marriage, her first collection of stories, spent five weeks on the San.

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This book of short stories fell short for me. It was because there was nothing redeeming about the In her debut collection of short stories, Divakaruni explores the ways in which women raised with traditional values try to balance the realities of a new existence in America.

I love short stories Account Divskaruni Sign in. Arranged Marriage, her first collection of stories, spent five My library Help Advanced Book Search. Anchor Books- Fiction – pages.

Although Chitra Divakaruni’s poetry has won praise and awards for many years, it is her “luminous, exquisitely crafted prose” Ms. Arranged Marriageher first collection of stories, spent five weeks on the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller list and divkaruni critical acclaim that would have been extraordinary for even a more established author.

For the young girls and women brought to life in these stories, the possibility of change, of starting anew, is both as terrifying and filled with promise as the ocean that separates them from their homes in India.

From the story of a young bride whose fairy-tale vision of California is shattered when her husband is murdered and she must face the future on her own, to a proud middle-aged divorced woman determined to succeed in San Francisco, Divakaruni’s award-winning poetry fuses here with prose for the first time to create eleven devastating portraits of women on the verge of an unforgettable transformation. Other editions – View all Arranged Marriage: Stories Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Limited preview – Guide to Finalise Compatible Alliance S.

Bt No preview available – Newton No preview available – Venkat Mani Snippet view – Or maybe she had always cried, and that diakaruni the first year I was old enough to notice.

I would wake up in the hot Calcutta dark and the sound of her weeping would be all around me, pressing in, wave upon wave, until I could no longer tell where it was coming from.

Arranged Marriage Reader’s Guide

The first few times it happened, I would sit up in the narrow child”s bed that she had recently taken qrranged sharing with me and whisper her name. But that would make her pull me close and hold me tight against her shaking body, where the damp smell of talcum powder and sari starch would choke me until I couldn”t bear it any longer and would start to dibakaruni away. Which only made her cry more. So after some time I learned to lie rigid and unmoving marfiage the bedsheet, plugging my fingers into my ears to block out her sobs.

And if I closed my eyes very tight and held them that way long enough, little dots of light would appear against my eyelids and I could almost pretend I was among the stars. One morning when she was getting me ready for school, braiding my hair into the slick, tight pigtail that I disliked because it always hung stiffly down my back, I noticed something funny about her divaoaruni. Not the dark circles under her eyes. Those were always there. It was high up on her cheek, a yellow blotch with its edges turning purple.

It looked like my knee did after I bumped into the chipped mahogany dresser next to our bed last month.

Now hurry up or you”ll miss the bus. And don”t make so much noise, or you”ll wake your father. Because he worked so hard at the Rashbihari Printing Press where he was a foreman, earning food and rent money for us, Mother had explained.


Since she usually put me to bed before he came home, I didn”t see him much. storie

Arranged marriage : stories / by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – Details – Trove

I heard him, though, shouts that shook the walls of my bedroom like they were paper, the sounds of falling dishes. Things fell a lot when Father was around, maybe because he was so large. His hands were especially big, with blackened, split nails and veins that stood up under the skin like blue snakes.

I remembered their chemical smell and the hard feel of his fingers from when I was little and he used to pick me up suddenly and throw me all the way up to the ceiling, up and down, up and down, while Mother pulled at his arms, banerjed him to stop, and I screamed and screamed with terror until I had no breath left.

A couple of days later Mother had another mark on her face, even bigger and reddish-blue. It was on the side of her forehead and made her face look lopsided. This time when I asked her about it she didn”t say anything, just turned the other way and stared at a spot on the wall where the plaster had cracked and started peeling in the shape of a drooping mouth. Then she asked me how I would like to visit my grandpa for a few days. Most of my friends in the third grade had them.

They gave them presents on birthdays and took them to the big zoo in Alipore during vacations. It”s a secret, just for you and me. Why don”t we pack quickly, and I”ll tell you more about him once we”re on the train. We packed fast, stuffing a few saris and dresses into two bags Mother brought out from under the bed. They were made from the same rough, nubby jute as the shopping bag that Father used to bring home fresh fish from the bazaar, but from their stiffness I could tell they were new.

I wondered when Mother bought them and how she”d paid for them, and then I wondered how she would buy our tickets. She never had much money, and whenever she asked for any, Father flew into one of his arrangrd. But maybe she”d been saving up for this trip for a long time. As we packed, Mother kept stopping as though she was listening for something, but all I heard was Father”s snores.

We tiptoed around and spoke in whispers. It was so exciting that I didn”t mind not having breakfast, or even having to leave all my toys behind.

I was entranced by the steamy smell of the train, the shriek of divakxruni whistle-loud without being scary-that announced when a tunnel banwrjee coming up, its comforting, joggly rhythm that soothed me into a half sleep.

I was lucky enough to get a window seat, and from it I watched as the narrow, smoke-streaked apartment buildings of Calcutta, with crumpled washing hanging from identical boxlike balconies, gave way to little brick houses with yellow squash vines growing in the yard. Later there were fields and fields of green so bright that when I closed my eyes the color pulsed inside my lids, and ponds with clusters of tiny purple flowers floating on them.

Mother, who had grown up in the country, told me they were water hyacinths, and as she watched them catch the sunlight, it seemed to me that the line of her mouth wavered and turned soft.

Arranged Marriage by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

After a while she pulled me close and cupped my chin in her hand. From her face I could see she had something important to say, so I didn”t squirm away as I usually would have. His house is in the middle of a meadow where buffaloes and goats roam all day, and there”s a well to drink water from. I”d only seen wells in picture books. Already, as I turned my head to look at a pair of long-tailed birds with red breasts, his loud-voiced presence was fading from my mind.


When the train finally dropped us off chirta a dusty little platform with a yellow signboard that spelled out Gopalpur in big black letters, not a soul was in sight. The afternoon sun burned right into my skull, diivakaruni my stomach felt like it had been empty for years.

Why isn”t he here? Then she said, “He doesn”t know we”re coming. You just take the little bag and I”ll take the big one, and in no time at all we”ll be at his house. Mother lost her way a couple of bxnerjee they had put in new roads, she said. The roads looked pretty old to me, with deep buffalo-cart ruts running along them, but I didn”t say anything. And when she asked me if I was hungry, I said no. Finally, there it was, a tiny house, almost a play house, with mud walls and straw on the roof like in my storybook pictures.

Banrrjee knocked on the door, and after a while an old man came out. He must have been the oldest man in the whole world. All his hair was white, and he had a long white beard as well.

He squinted at us in surprise, but when she told him who we were, he took us in and gave us some puffed rice and sweet creamy milk. From his own cow, he told me, as he watched me gulp it down. Then he ruffled my hair and sent me to the backyard to play with the chickens. I had never seen real live chickens up close before and immediately loved how they squacked and flapped their wings and how fast they could run when chased.

I was having a wonderful time with them when Mother came out. The first thing I noticed was that she was crying. I had never seen her cry in the daytime before, and it frightened me, because somehow I”d always believed that daytime was a safe time into which dark night things couldn”t intrude.

Now Hy stood watching her, hating the way her lips twisted and her nostrils flared, hating the thin red lines that wavered across the whites of her eyes.

My mouth went dry and I felt like I was going to throw up. Then I saw she was smiling through the tears. Grandpa-uncle soon became my best friend. All day I would follow him around as he went about his job, which was taking care of the zamindar”s orchards. He taught me the names of all the trees-mango, lichee, kul-and let divakkaruni taste the first ripe fruits. He pointed out hares and squirrels and girgitis that hid in the grass, their shiny greenish bodies pulsing in the sun.

On his off-days he took me fishing and taught me how to hold the rod right and how to tell when syories was a nibble, and although all I caught were scraggly little things that we threw back in the pond, he always encouraged me and said I was learning a lot. He himself was a good fisherman, patient and cheerful, with a stillness about him that drew the fish to his hook.

He was considerate as well, and whenever he brought home a catch for Mother to cook, he always cleaned and cut it up first, because the sight of bloo. Short Stories single author. Transcultural Women of Late Twentieth-century U.