Stories of Women in India: The Books of Amulya Malladi

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Song of the Cuckoo Bird is the life song of Kokila, a strong, independent woman who lives an unconventional life in a rigidly conventional society. After her parents die, recently married Kokila goes to live in Tella Meda, the home of a spiritual guru, until she is old enough to live with her husband's family. When Kokila is just thirteen she makes a fateful decision to remain at Tella Meda and forgo her marriage. Refusing to go to her husband and barred from marrying again, Kokila's position in a society that defines a woman's worth according her roles as wife and mother is that of an outcast. At Tella Meda Kokila and a band of similarly unconventional women make a life of their own.

A Breath of Fresh Air focuses on two very sensitive topics in Indian society: divorce and the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984. We see Anjali, a young, recently married woman waiting for her husband at the Bhopal train station. Her husband never arrives and instead she nearly dies as she is exposed to toxic gas released into the air from the nearby Union Carbide India plant. Years later Anjali is remarried and taking care of her twelve year old son who is slowly dying from health issues resulting from the gas incident. Anjali's first husband reappears in her life and she struggles with forgiveness and comes to terms with losing her son.

The Mango Season sees Priya, an Indian born woman living and working in the United States, visit her family and struggle to be truthful about her engagement with an American man. Priya finds the Indian summer hotter than she remembers and her family's expectations that she marry a "nice Indian boy" even more stifling. The Mango Season explores how we define and relate to family. This is one of Malladi's most popular novels.

Submitted by Kristina @MPL Central


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This page contains a single entry by Kristina published on December 20, 2011 8:26 AM.

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