eBook (PDF), 150 Pages
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.
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May 7, 2010This 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 – perhaps a touch of “misery loves company,” but tempered by the higher pleasure that art brings. 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!
Apr 27, 2010Courtesy, Social Networking ... we are bombarded with so many who believe are writers, just because they are able to pen down events and have excellent language skills. But writing is not just the ability to pen down (not to mention all the personal life events, which these writers think should be palatable to everyone else..). Just when some of us are getting tired of such readings, this book brought a great relief and provided a glimmer of hope; there are still a few true "writers in making" out there. Shahana is certainly one of them! She has done a wonderful job in each of these short stories. Every one of the stories reads so fluently and her ability to paint a character while introducing the same is above par. Just when you feel all comfortable with the characters, she pauses and presents a dose of reality. I enjoyed reading all the ten avatars! Hoping to see more of her writings in the near future.
Apr 20, 2010well put together, enjoyed each story!!!! its interesting how shahana weaves us in and out of every tale. sharing different perspectives with enough insight, and satisfying our intense ability to identify with the characters. kamalamma is whom i see myself becoming in a few years. and with the "typical delhi clerk", shahana you hit it on the nail!!!! thanks again for this amazing opportunity to read your book and to become a part of the experience!
Apr 12, 2010Very poignantly written, I found a little bit of myself, or others I identify with in every story. Be it a child’s voice talking about family discord or abuse, be it an old woman talking about the discovery and exploration of her sexuality, or be it a young woman dealing with divorce and loneliness in a foreign country, Shahana’s beautiful writing takes you through the journey of different voices, different moods, and experiences very unique to each of us. Once you start reading, you will find yourself engrossed, page after page, story after story taking you through a different phase and hence a different challenge of life. The reader goes through a gamut of emotions enriched all the more by the cross-cultural experience, a challenge everyone getting used to the ways of the foreign land identifies with. Through different characters and settings, Shahana’s writing evokes rich visuals. Amidst the diversity of her stories, she establishes that no matter what part of the world or what... More > stage of life one is in, everyone of us invariably go through the same emotions of love, grief, pain, joy, fear, separation, estrangement, loneliness, and discovery of the self.< Less
Apr 9, 20109 April 2010 "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... More > 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.< Less
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- Shahana Dattagupta (Standard Copyright License)
- First Edition, Paperback
- Flying Chickadee Creations
- September 28, 2011
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- 1.99 MB
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