Bored with retirement, Mr. Ali sets up a desk, puts up a sign, and waits for customers for his new matchmaking business. Some clients are a mystery. Some are a challenge. Mr. Ali's assistant, Aruna, finds it a learning experience. But without a dowry, Aruna has no expectation of a match for herself. Then again, as people go about planning their lives, sometimes fate is making other arrangements.
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Farahad Zama is a British novelist. His first book The Marriage Bureau for Rich People won the Melissa Nathan Prize for best Comedy Romance Novel and was short-listed for Best Published Fiction at the Muslim Writers Awards. Zama was short-listed for Best New Writer of the Year at the British Book Awards. His other books include The Many Conditions of Love, The Wedding Wallah, Mrs. Ali’s Road to Happiness, and Abacus. Zama lives in South London with his wife and two sons.From Publishers Weekly:
A thriving arranged-marriage bureau in contemporary India resides at the heart of Zama's charming debut. The customers who visit Mr. Ali's bureau—a project he began in retirement to pass the time—are mostly pragmatists: they look for mates based on height, complexion, caste, economic status and religion. As business picks up, Mr. Ali, a Muslim, takes on a young assistant, Aruna, a poor Hindu girl, who helps him formulate happy unions. While the bureau prospers, Mr. Ali and his wife contend with their headstrong son, a human rights advocate who worries them constantly, and Aruna faces her dismal home life and a handsome young client who may want more from her than lists of potential matches. Zama's strength is in showing the love that makes the matchmaking system possible, looking at the reciprocity, trust and devotion that underlie marriage. Though the dialogue can tend toward the wooden and some problems work out too tidily, Zama's delightful world of mid-morning tea breaks, afternoon siestas, picnics in mango groves and meddlesome aunties is a pleasant place to hang out. (June)
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Book Description Abacus, 2010. Paperback. fine trade paperback, uncorrected proof 1st edition. 'A writer of charming and breezy prose, Zama pays homage to Jane Austen in a contemporary love story firmly grounded in classic wrangles over family, property and class'. Bookseller Inventory # FJ11.335
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR002267662