Tishani Doshi The Pleasure Seekers: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781608192779

The Pleasure Seekers: A Novel

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Meet the Patel-Joneses―Babo, Sian, Mayuri, and Bean―in their little house with orange and black gates next door to the Punjab Women's Association in Madras. Babo grew up here, but he and Sian, his cream-skinned Welsh love, met in London. Babo's parents disapproved. And then they disapproved unless the couple moved back to Madras. So here they are. And as the twentieth century creaks and croaks its way along, Babo, Sian, and the children navigate their way through the uncharted territory of a "hybrid" family: the hustle and bustle of Babo's relatives; the faraway phone-line crackle of Sian's; the eternal wisdom and soft bosom of Great-Grandmother Ba; the perils of first love, lost innocence, and old age; and the big question: What do you do with the space your loved ones leave behind?

Tishani Doshi, a prizewinning poet, plunges into fiction for the first time with this tender and uplifting debut. With rich feeling and dazzling language, Doshi evokes both Zadie Smith and Rohinton Mistry as she captures the quirks and calamities of one unusual clan in a story of identity, family, belonging, and all-transcending love.

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About the Author:

Tishani Doshi is a poet and dancer based in Madras, India. Her first collection of poetry, Countries of the Body, won the Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection in 2006. The Pleasure Seekers is her first novel.

From Publishers Weekly:

Not all that much pleasure is sought (or found) by the characters of Doshi's competently written if thinly conceived debut. The story starts off in 1968 as Babo Patel leaves his Madras home to study in London, and though our hero is quick to give up the strict rules of his Jain upbringing, he's soon summoned home once his parents find out he's been seeing SiaÌén, a Welsh girl. After Babo gives his folks the silent treatment for a few months, the Patels comes to an agreement: if Babo and SiaÌén are still together after two years of living with his family in Madras, they can return to London. SiaÌén arrives in India, learns to take on the role of a traditional homemaker, joins the Overseas Women's Club, and has babies. Years later, Babo's youngest daughter takes off for an English adventure of her own. Ominous dreams and a catalogue of cursory mentions of historical events and pop culture references try to give this story some direction, but the narrative doesn't do much more than mark the passage of time. Doshi can write a nice sentence, but the bigger picture is too slight.
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