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Anita Desai


Books by Anita Desai
In Custody by Anita DesaiIn Custody by Anita Desai
In Custody is woven around the yearnings and calamities of a small town scholar in the north of India. An impoverished college lecturer, Deven, sees a way to escape from the meanness of his daily life Read More...
Pages: 225

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Collected Stories by Anita DesaiCollected Stories by Anita Desai
Buried resentments, unexpected disappointments, new friendships, small acts of cruelty, journeys that take you back to where you started. With trademark compassion and tender irony, Anita Desai's short Read More...
Pages: 344

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Clear Light Of Day by Anita DesaiClear Light Of Day by Anita Desai
Set in India's Old Delhi, CLEAR LIGHT OF DAY is Anita Desai's tender, warm, and compassionate novel about family scars, the ability to forgive and forget, and the trials and tribulations of familial love. Read More...
Pages: 192

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BaumgartnerBaumgartner's Bombay by Anita Desai
A story of profound emotional wounds of war and its exiles. The novel follows Hugo Baumgartner as he flees Nazi Germany -- and his Jewish heritage -- for India, only to be imprisoned as a hostile alien Read More...
Pages: 230

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Popular Picks
The Bonesetter's Daughter
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The Bonesetter's Daughter
by Amy Tan
In memories that rise like wisps of ghosts, LuLing Young searches for the name of her mother, the daughter of the Famous Bonesetter from the Mouth of the Mountain. Trying to hold on to the evaporating past, she begins to write all that she can remember of her life as a girl in China. Meanwhile, her daughter Ruth, a ghostwriter for authors of self-help books, is losing the ability to speak up for herself in front of the man she lives with and his two teenage daughters. None of her professional sound bites and pat homilies works for her personal life: she knows only how to translate what others want to say.Ruth starts suspecting that something is terribly wrong with her mother. As a child, Ruth had been constantly subjected to her mother's disturbing notions about curses and ghosts, and to her repeated threats that she would kill herself, and was even forced by her to try to communicate with ghosts. But now LuLing seems less argumentative, even happy, far from her usual disagreeable and dissatisfied self.While tending to her ailing mother, Ruth discovers the pages LuLing wrote in Chinese, the story of her tumultuous and star-crossed life, and is transported to a backwoods village known as Immortal Heart. There she learns of secrets passed along by a mute nursemaid, Precious Auntie; of a cave where "dragon bones" are mined, some of which may prove to be the teeth of Peking Man; of the crumbling ravine known as the End of the World, where Precious Auntie's scattered bones lie, and of the curse that LuLing believes she released through betrayal. Like layers of sediment being removed, each page reveals secrets of a larger mystery: What became of Peking Man? What was the name of the Bonesetter's Daughter? And who was Precious Auntie, whose suicide changed the path of LuLing's life? Within LuLing's calligraphed pages awaits the truth about a mother's heart, what she cannot tell her daughter yet hopes she will never forget.
Interpreter of Maladies: Stories of Bengal, Boston and Beyond
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Interpreter of Maladies: Stories of Bengal, Boston and Beyond
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Navigating between the Indian traditions they've inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In "A Temporary Matter," published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession. Lahiri writes with deft cultural insight reminiscent of Anita Desai and a nuanced depth that recalls Mavis Gallant. She is an important and powerful new voice.
Before I Say Good-Bye
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Before I Say Good-Bye
by Mary Higgins Clark
When Nell MacDermott learns that her husband, architect Adam Cauliff, and three of his business associates have died in an explosion of his new cabin cruiser, she is not only devastated but wracked with guilt. The last time she saw Adam, they had a bitter quarrel over her plan to run for the congressional seat long held by her grandfather; she had told him not to come home.

As the investigation into the boat's explosion proceeds, Nell learns that it was not an accident but a bomb. Despite her skepticism, Nell is swayed by her great-aunt Gert, a believer in psychic powers, to see a medium claiming to be Adam's channel.

While trying to unravel the threads of Adam's past and his violent end, Nell consults the medium, who transmits messages to her with instructions from Adam. The story reaches a powerful climax in Nell's final encounter with the medium, in which she learns the truth about the explosion -- truth she can't be allowed to live and tell.