CM reader JM sends in this note for all you gentle readers.
Hi! Hoping you Chapati Mystery readers can help me find a publisher for my first novel, Monsoon Chutney. It’s the multi-generational tale of an upper-caste Indian-American family. What’s really fresh about this work, I feel, is that each generation has its own unique struggles with identity and repression. The grandparents try to cope with the aftermath of Partition and finding their places in a newly-independent India, one full of religious and caste upheaval; the veranda where the two grandfathers sip whisky and bemoan certain passing traditions is the main setting of the first third of the novel. Their children marry and immigrate to America in the late Sixties, and attempt to reconcile their conservative upbringings with the demands of their new culture (n.b., I’ve left out the boring details of Dad’s professional life and just assumed that’s he’s done quite well as a urologist). The grandchildren, Raj and Sujata, are born in the U.S. They have to bridge the worlds of the two countries, mainly through wrestling with the expectations of their families while trying to establish their own identities as Indian-Americans. The struggle with patriarchy is a theme throughout: a tragic incident of incest proves to have unforeseen consequences, but to balance it out, there’s also a scene of tenderness and humor in which the parents deal with Sujata’s menarche (I’m sure female readers who are children of immigrants will smile wryly). The whole thing ends with an emotional scene in a house in La Jolla that unites the three generations. As the child of Indian immigrants who came to the U.S. in the Sixties, I was moved to write about these matters. And like you, I’m passionate about The God of Small Things and The Interpreter of Maladies, books that I hope Monsoon Chutney will one day join in the canon. Please let me know if you have any contacts in the publishing industry.
Those with leads, or those with The Inheritance of Loss (Amazon Key Phrases: deaf tailors, thun thun, chun chun, Father Booty, Uncle Potty, Cho Oyu) on their bookshelves, are urged to leave their helpful tips in the comments section.
I invite JM to submit a book proposal to CM for our own Chapati Mystery Presents … ® Series coming out soon.