Articles, Essays and Fiction
Scandal points to real teenage story of mimicry
(Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Kaavya Viswanathan did a disservice not only to readers but to herself in following a chic-lit formula too closely with her first, and possibly last, novel.
Living the American dream
I am sitting in a café in Jackson Heights with Partha Bannerjee eating a quick dal and roti lunch. Jackson Heights, New York is called Little India, a wedge of narrow streets in Queens, elevated train tracks slashing a dark shadow over the Indian grocers, video and CD, sari and jewellery shops.
Guyana: Travelling Into Grey
On a muggy August day, my husband and I peer through our airplane window to see Guyana below. The country, which sits on the northern lip of South America, is flat as the eye can see, stretching like a green woolly carpet to the brownish coastal plain. . .
What do Indians and Indian-Americans make of the yoga boom? A 2-part series in Yoga Journal:
Out of India
American yogis have enthusiastically embraced all things Indian. But what do people of Indian descent think of Americans "borrowing" their culture?
How yoga's popularity in the West is changing the way Indians approach a practice created in their country thousands of years ago.
Two Towns, Two Americas
Interstate 78 is a highway corridor that shoots straight west from Newark, slashing deep into the heart of suburban New Jersey. This is prime Philip Roth territory, where upwardly mobile Jews like the Patimkins in Goodbye, Columbus left their tenement origins for the tony streets of Short Hills. I've come here too, fresh from a cramped apartment in Manhattan, only to discover that the route to success has forked. Get off at exit 50B and depending on which way our family turns --to the left for Millburn or the right for Maplewood--we're entering two very different Americas, with two distinct visions of education and our children's futures.
"When I was growing up I loved to watch reruns of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, a movie in which handsome Sidney Poitier declares his love for a young woman from a white, well-to-do Philadelphia family. Both families -black and white- do everything they can to dissuade the happy couple...."
Letter from Guyana: Reclamations
(Originally in Dissent)
"Last March, when the body of Cheddi Jagan, former President of Guyana, lay in state near the tiny village where he was born, the crowds of villagers and sugar workers streaming past to catch a last glimpse of their leader were so enormous that the cremation ceremony had to be postponed."
Elián: Not Just a Cuban Story
(Originally on IMDiversity.com)
"We all saw the headlines about Elián González, the Cuban boy living in a state of legal limbo, and many of us were drawn into the family conflict as his relatives here in the U.S. and those in Cuba vied for custody. But the Elián González story was really a political one: about the delicate balance between Cuban relations and much-valued Cuban-American votes in Miami."
"Tell me another," I asked my mother while we sat in the shade of the garden, shelling peas into a big wooden bowl.
"That's enough for today," my mother replied. "It's not nice to talk about your father's family so much."