© 2019 by Murali Kamma. All rights reserved. 

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In this debut collection focusing on Indian immigrants in the United States, characters deal with conflict, growth, dislocation, and renewal in a new world. But their old world is present as well, and this “in-betweenness” shapes their lives. Once immigration involved leaving all behind, assuming a new identity with your new culture. Now we move back and forth—between continents, cities, our different mores no longer tidily compartmentalized, sometimes more migrant than immigrant. Generational splits in families mirror and are amplified by the gulf between new and old. A father steps off a train at a station and disappears for a son's entire childhood; an emigrant son returning for a visit easily falls in with his father's delusion that he is a domestic worker. A couple safely ensconced in their American life face the costs of their choices when those they left behind come to visit. An out-of-work IT worker tries to hide his unemployment from his visiting mother convinced of his success. Divisions within a nation, whether of caste or class, can be more striking than differences between countries. On trips to India, characters revisit the choices they or their parents made with radically different sensibilities and assumptions now in play. What seemed shocking, or inevitable, or impossible then may feel inconsequential, or arbitrary, or heroic now. An elderly Indian hosting an American finds the taboos that have governed his own life dissolving. Like many immigrants straddling two worlds, the characters in this book are acute observers—and diffident interpreters—of a much larger world that will never feel fully familiar again.