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Synopsis

Now in paperback, internationally bestselling author Indu Sundaresan presents a poignant collection of contemporary short stories about the challenges and consequences faced by women in Indian life today.

Like Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, Indu Sundaresan’s In the Convent of Little Flowers gives readers an eloquent and illuminating collection of stories about contemporary Indian life, exploring the cutting-edge issues that surround the clash between ancient tradition and modernity. In the collection’s title story, a young woman adopted by an American family in Seattle receives a letter from Sister Mary Theresa, a nun at the Convent of Little Flowers in Chennai, where she stayed as a child. Unbeknownst to the Indian woman, the nun is her biological mother’s sister. In another story, the grandmother of an Indian journalist begs her grandson to intervene and stop a young widow from being burned alive. And when a teenaged daughter bears a child out of wedlock, her entire family is thrown into turmoil. With their lush prose, vividly rendered settings, and complex characters, these and the other stories in this elegant collection bring readers into the experience of Indian women at home and abroad, where modernity offers them lives their grandmothers could never dream of, while at the same time taking away parts of their history. With a delicate touch, Indu Sundaresan weaves the pieces of the conflict together, presenting a nuanced and unforgettable tapestry.

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