Ten Avatarsby Shahana Dattagupta
Ten avatars of woman are explored through the telling of little incidents and big turning points in the lives of female protagonists: a little child amidst parental dissonance, a girl at puberty becoming vulnerable to predators, a cynical teenager struggling with her national identity, a young graduate student returning to travel in her native land, an arrange-married wife striving for independence after emigrating, a single woman seeing the reflection of herself in a white man, a first-time mother struggling with motherhood away from home, a divorced woman reinventing herself in foreign land, an early-forties woman embracing the truth of her sexuality, and a woman in her twilight years reflecting back. This collection of stories weaves together intimate cross-cultural experiences, with variegated vignettes unique to the Indian- American expatriate experience in contemporary times, yet reveals the universal essence of being female.
- Flying Chickadee
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.35(d)
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Its in res2
Ten avatars by Shahana Dattagupta is a collection of short stories of ordinary believable Indian women, yet extraordinarily strong in their quest of finding or rather reinventing their identity in different stages of life. Each of the stories are heart warming and in more than one occasion one tends to identify oneself, a friend, an acquaintance or a loved one with one or more of the characters. Shahana has the gift of telling a story in a flow, frank and subtle, bold and understated, poignant and witty, describing simple mundane things with details, teeming with typical human behaviour. The book has vivid description of places, customs and festivals, both Indian and American intertwined with the life of Indian immigrants in America. The cultural miscommunications and conflicts that arise with friends and relatives back home faced by immigrants are real and true and Shahana has been able to bring forth this conflict with ease, sweetly and effortlessly with thoughtful insights.
"Ten Avatars" by Shahana Dattagupta is a 150 pageful of delight! Attracted by its front cover, once I started reading it, to my amazement, I could not put it down till I turned the last page over!... Shahana's language is almost unedited free-flowing, the cross-cultural contexts are rich and fascinating, the canvas of the stories is painted with words -- with vivid and often witty descriptions of situations, and the characters in her stories seem all familiar in their essentially human failings and essentially human, reassuring resurrections. Shahana's canvas is sometimes rather large for a short story, but in the true spirit of a short story, there is always a main "event" dragging the reader through its progression, often to an open end, which is then left to the reader's imagination. The third story "This Day of Thanksgiving", the sixth story "No Parking" and the ninth story "The Dollhouse" are told by a first-person narrator. The rest are in the form of third-person narration -- each one is projected from the perspective of the main character, who happens to be a woman in each story. It is not easy to come to terms with complexities of life and conflicting human emotions as one experiences them personally, and then to tell "your" story to the world, without being judgmental, but subtly, and with passion... This is no ordinary feat! This is the first book by the author in the "auspicious" thirteenth year of her stay in America. We will be waiting for the next one with much anticipation. Rupamanjari Ghosh New Delhi, India.
This collection of tales is engrossing, inspiring and a wonderful experience of living art. Thanks to Shahana for bringing them into the world. She has shown great courage in going to places that wrench the heart. Already I want the next installment! Also, Shahana offers inspiration to other artists whose stories are still brewing beneath the surface. It's important to share experiences so that we may learn from each other. As difficult and painful as life's lessons are, expressing them through art gives us a chance to understand them as part of our universal humanity. Each story is distinctly lovely. I don't see one as better than another, and Shahana's writing is quite polished. This is particularly impressive, as her stories have not taken the typical route and been groomed by a publishing house. I like the rough cut!