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Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India
     

Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India

3.3 6
by Anita Jain
 

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After three years of dating, Anita Jain finally got fed up with the New York singles scene. As her Indian parents continued to pressure her to find a mate, Jain couldnt help asking herself the question: is arranged marriage really any worse than Craigslist? Full of romantic chance encounters, nosy relatives, and dozens of potential husbands, Marrying Anita is a

Overview

After three years of dating, Anita Jain finally got fed up with the New York singles scene. As her Indian parents continued to pressure her to find a mate, Jain couldnt help asking herself the question: is arranged marriage really any worse than Craigslist? Full of romantic chance encounters, nosy relatives, and dozens of potential husbands, Marrying Anita is a refreshingly honest look at our own expectations and the modern search for the perfect mate.

Editorial Reviews

Lori Gottlieb
Of course, there's nothing new in the story of a woman seeking a husband. What's new here—and stunningly so—is Jain's engaging, intelligent voice, at turns wry…and provocatively curious… The result is less a dating memoir than a thoughtful, incisive exploration of the nature of connection. Ultimately, Jain seems to be asking, Is modernization really progress? After all, if with choice comes freedom, then why do so many single women feel imprisoned by their loneliness?
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

In 2005, Jain announced in a New York magazine article that she was tired of American dating and would consider an arranged marriage, an Indian tradition she had always resisted. Only mildly piqued by her parents' endearing obsession with brokering a shaadi, she had ribbed her father for writing her profiles on Indian matchmaking Web sites. In a radical return to tradition, she decides to move to her native India in search of a husband. Pondering the foibles of American dating strengthens her resolve to embrace life in Delhi, even as she adjusts to its new cosmopolitan energy and Western attitudes. Jain struggles to negotiate the security of tradition with the allure of modernity. She is flummoxed by the caste system as well as the stigmas attached to single women. Torn between "old-world" suitors and the confident, latter-day Indian male, she concedes, "Dating in Delhi is no less complicated, perplexing and ego-deflating than in New York." Even the ad her father places in the Times of India matrimonial pages ("thirty-three years old, Harvard graduate... looking for broad-minded groom") fails to arouse much interest. With her world-weary yet earnest voice that finds humor in humiliation, Jain is sure to delight readers. (Aug.)

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Library Journal

What if Bridget Jones had taken more drastic measures to find true love? At 32, Indian-born American journalist Jain realized that New York bachelors could project witty and cultured personae over drinks or online but then fell short on personality or commitment. After years of having her relatively progressive California family suggest an arranged marriage, or at least a serious boyfriend, Jain decided to return to India (which her family had left in her infancy) to find a loving and committed man. This is her story, written in a literary yet compulsively readable voice and with remarkably fresh and merciless analyses of dating trends in both New York City and the curiously liberated "New India" social climate of Delhi. Her friends in both countries reveal an array of nontraditional-and occasionally shockingly traditional-approaches to making a living and building a family in strained and colorful global cities. Believe it or not, there are new things to be said about love and friendship, and Jain covers them. Librarians should note the pervasive sexual and drug-related content. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.
—Karen Sobel

Kirkus Reviews
Single Indian-American female, 33, seeks worldly yet marriage-minded man abroad and finds a complex blend of perspectives on relationships. On the surface, Jain's debut memoir is the newest entry in the Sex and the City/Bridget Jones's Diary-fueled glut of women's laments, fictional and otherwise, about unreliable men. Disappointed by her isolating social life in New York, one of several international cities where she worked as a journalist after graduating from Harvard, the author moved to Delhi in 2005, hoping to find a husband either through an arranged marriage or a more Western-style courtship. Though Jain serves up some amusingly familiar dating horror stories, her exploration of cultural change makes her more than a South Asian Carrie Bradshaw. In a charmingly wry voice, she deftly interweaves the stories of friends, relatives and suitors, each tale illuminating another twist of the labyrinthine path to happiness offered by life in a subcontinent saturated by both tradition and technology. The author introduces readers to fellow singles whose marital ambitions are as impeded by Delhi's new, promiscuous youth culture as by ancient caste prejudices. Her cousins are small-town wives forbidden from so much as removing their jewelry without permission; their lives bewilder Jain, but they seem happy. A friend from India's northeastern region looks Japanese and identifies with East Asian men; he reminds the author of her own difficult-to-define multinational identity. That puzzle is the real theme of this introspective memoir. Jain's assured, insouciant intellectualism is as engaging to the reader as it is problematic in her search for a mate. In the arranged-marriage milieu, the idealman is a studious doctor or engineer, but such types are naifs in the face of the author's sophisticated frame of reference. She wants a literate, feminist-minded, well-traveled partner, but there is no established venue to meet him or shorthand to describe him; the paradigm is too new. Rather than simplistically condemning modernity as an enemy of intimacy, however, Jain playfully relishes analyzing it. A sparkling, enjoyable look at how globalization affects love. Agent: Esmond Harmsworth, Lane Zachary/Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency
From the Publisher

“A thoughtful, incisive exploration of the nature of connection.” —New York Times

“A lively, irreverent look at the changing societal and sexual mores of newly globalized Indian cities…Richly detailed.” —Washington Post

“This is a fun book and a smart, funny woman.” —Newsday

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608196371
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
11/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,254,266
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Anita Jain has worked as a journalist in a number of cities, including Mexico City, London, Singapore, New York, and New Delhi, where she currently lives. She graduated from Harvard University and grew up in northern California.
Anita Jain has worked as a journalist in a number of cities, including Mexico City, London, Singapore, New York and New Delhi, where she currently lives. She graduated from Harvard University and grew up in northern California.

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Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing. Had hoped the writing would capture tody's vibrant, evolving Indian culture. Instead the read was nothing more than a trite 30-something blog rag sheet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
teddiebares More than 1 year ago
A little slow but still a good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An easy and quick read, but there's a whole lot of waiting around for something to happen. I didn't find the main character to be particularly likeable and the end of the book left me asking, "So that's it?"
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up yesterday and couldn't put it down! What a wonderful memoir!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author wrote in simple and charming language.you cannot resist to read the whole book in one sitting. This author has gone to India and described her experience in interesting way.