Simon & Schuster, 2008
Agent: Sandra Dijkstra
Bestselling author Indu Sundaresan presents a candid and stunning collection of stories about contemporary Indians and the cutting-edge issues surrounding them— where ancient tradition and modernity can often clash.
A young woman who was adopted by an American family in Seattle receives a letter from Sister Mary Theresa, nun at the Convent of Little Flowers in Chennai where she stayed as a child. Unbeknownst to her, the nun is her biological mother's sister. The grandmother of an Indian journalist begs him to intervene with her husband —his grandfather — to prevent a young widow from being burned alive. A child born out of wedlock to the sixteen-year-old daughter of a peon on an engineering college campus throws the entire family into turmoil.
With the lush prose, vividly rendered settings, complex and appealing characters, and compelling narratives, the stories that comprise In the Convent of Little Flowers illuminate the lives of Indians at home and abroad today, where modernity offers them opportunities that their grandmothers only dreamed of, while others experience just as much oppression as ever. Indu Sundaresan brings together stories that both embrace and reject modern values with an authenticity that only a writer of her caliber could do.