Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee
A Novel

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Synopsis

At the heart of this remarkable new novel by the award-winning author of The Middleman and Other Stories and Jasmine are issues of culture, identity, and familial loyalty. Comparable to The Joy Luck Club in its honest portrayal of the American immigrant experience, Desirable Daughters follows the diverging paths taken by three Calcutta-born sisters as they come of age in a changing world.

Tara, Padma, and Parvati were born into a wealthy Brahmin family presided over by their doting father and his traditionalist mother. Intelligent and artistic, the girls are nevertheless constrained by a society with little regard for women. Their subsequent rebellion will lead them in different directions, to different continents, and through different circumstances that strain yet ultimately strengthen their relationship.

Moving effortlessly between generations, Mukherjee weaves together fascinating stories of the sisters' ancestors, their childhood memories, and dramatic scenes from India's history.
 

About Bharati Mukherjee

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Bharati Mukherjee, 1940 - Bharati Mukherjee was born in Calcutta, India in 1940 to a wealthy, traditional family. She attended the universities of Calcutta and Baroda, where she earned a master's degree in English and Ancient Indian Culture. In 1961, she came to the United States to attend the Writers Workshop and earned her master's of fine arts and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. In 1963, Mukherjee married Clark Blaise, a Canadian author, and immigrated to Canada. She became a naturalized citizen in 1972. While she was teaching English at McGill University, she began writing fiction. Living in Canada was difficult for Mukherjee so, with her husband, she moved back to the United States and became a citizen. She then taught creative writing at Columbia University, New York University and Queens College and then became Professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley. Some of Mukherjee's titles include: "Wife" (1975), "Days and Nights in Calcutta" (1977), Middleman and Other Stories" (1988), "Holder of the World" (1993), and "Leave It To Me" (1997).
 
Published March 27, 2002 by Hyperion. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, History, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Desirable Daughters

Kirkus Reviews

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There, however, she found herself brought sharply back to Calcutta when a young man named Chris Dey showed up at her door one day claiming to be the illegitimate son of her older sister Padma and bearing a letter of introduction from Ron Dey (a childhood friend of Padma’s), who claimed to be the ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Beneath the family drama and Tara's quest for her identity, Mukherjee tells a larger story about Indians in India and the U.S., painting a complex picture of vastly different cultures Hindu, Muslim, Parsi, Sikh further divided by substratas of caste and ancient prejudices, yet kept together b...

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Book Reporter

Tara is fascinated by an ancestor, her almost namesake, Tara Lata, a five-year-old girl who was a victim of the archaic custom of child marriage –-- a tradition even her father, a university graduate and lawyer, willingly follows.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Desirable Daughters: A Novel

Story Circle Book Reviews

When a young man shows up at Tara's home looking for her sister Padma, whom he claims is his mother, Tara refuses to believe him.

Jun 08 2003 | Read Full Review of Desirable Daughters: A Novel

India Today

Roots gatherer: Bharati Mukherjee Mukherjee has cut out the shapes of three Bhattacharjee girls of Ballygunge and placed them at strategic points - Mumbai, where the middle one lives, New York, where the most forward of the girls has settled, and San Francisco, where Tara, the youngest, makes a h...

Mar 17 2003 | Read Full Review of Desirable Daughters: A Novel

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