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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Rupa Bajwa's debut novel percolates with nuance and charm. Set in the Indian city of Amritsar, one of the novel's most important characters is the city itself; and the wealthy elite presented in relief to the working classes who serve their needs and fulfill their whims. In the rhythmic bustle of the renowned Sevak Sari House, Ramchand and his fellow shop assistants wait upon fussy socialites who arrive with seemingly unlimited resources to spend on lavish clothing before returning to lives of leisure on the other side of town.
Ramchand is relatively content with a life that revolves around the comings and goings of the sari shop: a life without expectations, complaints or dreams. But all that changes when he is asked to make a house call. In the home of beautiful bride-to-be Rina Kapoor, Ramchand's eyes are opened to an unimagined and baffling luxury. He is entranced, and his previously latent ambitions rise to the surface: He crashes the Kapoor wedding, buys himself some English grammar books, and begins an obsession with cleanliness, experiencing numerous cultural epiphanies along the way.
Bajwa's character-driven narrative is richly visual and laced with subtle humor. In The Sari Shop, readers will find a thoroughly engaging work by a perceptive new writer with a passion for honest storytelling. (Fall 2004 Selection)