Praise for Arranged Marriage:
“A remarkably strong debut…The all-too-imperfect lives of Divakaruni’s heroines, like precious gems, are unrecognized treasures, worthy of being praised, protected and held dear.” (San Jose Mercury News)
“Beautifully told stories of transformed lives…Both liberated and trapped by cultural changes on both sides of the ocean, these women struggle fiercely to carve out an identity of their own.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Divakaruni not only conveys emotions with stunning accuracy, she also transforms the outer world—every room and article of clothing, every instance of snow, rain, and sunshine—into reflections of the soul.” (Booklist)
“As irresistible as the impulse which leads her characters to surface to maturity, raising their heads above floods of silver ignorance” (The New York Times Book Review)
“These are excellent, hard-hitting stories, . . . revealing and engrossing.” (Midwest Book Review).
ARRANGED MARRIAGE (1994)
Arranged Marriage (Anchor Books), Divakaruni’s first collection of stories, was published to great critical acclaim. It won an American Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles award, and a Bay Area Book Reviewers Award and went on to become a bestseller. Adopted as a text in many college classes, the collection focuses on immigrants from India caught between two worlds. The characters are both liberated and trapped by cultural changes as they struggle to carve out an identity of their own.
For the women brought to life in these stories, the possibility of change, of starting anew, is at once terrifying and filled with promise, like the ocean that separates them from their homes in India. From the story of a young bride whose fairy-tale vision of California is shattered when her husband is murdered, forcing her to face the future on her own, to a proud middle-aged divorcee determined to succeed in San Francisco, Divakaruni’s award-winning poetry fuses here with prose for the first time to create eleven unforgettable portraits of women on the verge of transformation.