An Unrestored WomaneBook - 2016
One dozen paired stories by an award-winning writer feature searing and intimate portraits of men and women whose lives have reached tipping points after transcending the historical events that formed India and Pakistan in 1947, from a freedom-seeking woman in a loveless marriage to an ambitious servant who seduces her employers.
A debut of astonishing scope and lyricism: the twelve paired stories in Shobha Rao's An Unrestored Woman trace their origins to the formation of India and Pakistan in 1947, but they transcend that historical moment, giving us searing, intimate portraits of men and women whose lives have reached tipping points.
“What an astonishing collection! Provoking, ferocious, moving, splendid, generous and essential. I seemed to finish the book in a different world than the one in which I began it.”
—Kelly Link, author of Get In Trouble and Stranger Things Happen
In her mesmerizing debut, Shobha Rao recounts the untold human costs of one of the largest migrations in history.
1947: the Indian subcontinent is partitioned into two separate countries, India and Pakistan. And with one decree, countless lives are changed forever.
An Unrestored Woman explores the fault lines in this mass displacement of humanity: a new mother is trapped on the wrong side of the border; a soldier finds the love of his life but is powerless to act on it; an ambitious servant seduces both master and mistress; a young prostitute quietly, inexorably plots revenge on the madam who holds her hostage. Caught in a world of shifting borders, Rao’s characters have reached their tipping points.
In paired stories that hail from India and Pakistan to the United States, Italy, and England, we witness the ramifications of the violent uprooting of families, the price they pay over generations, and the uncanny relevance these stories have in our world today.