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L'atlas Des Inconnus (2000)

L'atlas Des Inconnus (2000)

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3.62 of 5 Votes: 4
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2234063965 (ISBN13: 9782234063969)

About book L'atlas Des Inconnus (2000)

This is a wonderful novel, with tales of loves lost, loves regained, emigration, repatriation, betrayal, disappointment and reconciliation.Anju Melvin is a studious little girl growing up near Chennai, India. Her father is a chauffeur, and her mother died when she was too young to remember. She lives with her father, her grandmother and her older sister Linno.As a teen, she wins a scholarship to an exclusive school in Manhattan -- but only because she falsely claims that the brilliant drawings done by Linno are hers. Once in America, she lives with a wealthy Indian-American family in which the mother is a TV host on a program like "The View," and the brash son fashions himself a documentary filmmaker. All goes well until she confesses her false pretenses to the one boy in the school who seems to like her.When the deed is discovered, Anju is expelled, and rather than face her shame, she runs away to the one other person she has met -- a woman named Bird who works in a hair salon in Queens and who takes her in. Unbeknownst to Anju, Bird has sought her out because of a deep connection she has to Anju's family. And unbeknownst to anyone else, Linno harbors her own dark secret about her mother's death.Anju believes her family will be shamed by her presence. They vow to find her no matter what, and it is these conflicting currents that lead to the dramatic climax of the book. In this first novel, James raises questions about affluence, poverty, assimilation, what we give up to pursue other dreams, what we gain when we go home. Well worth the read. It is about the experience of Indians in India and in the U.S., and their perception of America, from the perspective of India, and when they are here. It is about the traumas that befall and connections the sustain family, the senses of responsibility and guilt for what we do to others in our families. It is about the notion of success, as perceived by Indians caught between tradition and the modern world.I thought it was both more interesting as a story, and more sophisticated in style, texture and conception than I had anticipated. I got caught up in the travails of the two sisters,and was amused by the way they perceived as strange what we take for granted in American society.I will remember various scenes--of Anju in the high school, flirting with Sheldon Fish, or Shell Dun Fish, as Linno hears it. I will remember the Indian TV personality who takes Anju in, and ends up bringing her back home. I will remember how Linno gets involved in art as a career, and her intuitive grasp of pop-up card design, and how she stumbles into success with it.

Do You like book L'atlas Des Inconnus (2000)?

liked it- a little slow at parts but turned in interesting ways toward the end

Good story incorporating New York and India - two places I like to read about.

Didn't like this...very slow read

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