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Good Indian Girls: Stories
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Catapult 2013
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In twelve startling and vividly imagined stories, Ranbir Singh Sidhu overturns the lives of ordinary Indians living in America to bring us a bold debut collection, Good Indian Girls.
A woman attends a de-cluttering class in search of love. A low-level, drunkard diplomat finds himself mysteriously transferred to the Consulate in San Francisco, where everyone believes he is a great, lost poet. An anthropological expedition searching for early human fossils goes disastrously wrong and the leader turns to searching for the very first sounds made by humans. The wife of a retiring Consul pays tribute to her pet python by preparing to serve him to her dinner guests. A strange skull discovered outside an orphanage results in the creation of a cult around one of the charismatic young residents.
Unsettling, moving, insightful, humorous — these beautifully written stories travel between despair and redemption as they illuminate the lives of often deeply flawed characters, and mark the emergence of a major new voice in American fiction.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/16/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781593765699
ASIN:
B00D0V458E

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Ranbir Singh Sidhu. (2013). Good Indian Girls: Stories. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ranbir Singh Sidhu. 2013. Good Indian Girls: Stories. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ranbir Singh Sidhu, Good Indian Girls: Stories. Catapult, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ranbir Singh Sidhu. Good Indian Girls: Stories. Catapult, 2013.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Updated:
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title
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fullDescription
In twelve startling and vividly imagined stories, Ranbir Singh Sidhu overturns the lives of ordinary Indians living in America to bring us a bold debut collection, Good Indian Girls.
A woman attends a de-cluttering class in search of love. A low-level, drunkard diplomat finds himself mysteriously transferred to the Consulate in San Francisco, where everyone believes he is a great, lost poet. An anthropological expedition searching for early human fossils goes disastrously wrong and the leader turns to searching for the very first sounds made by humans. The wife of a retiring Consul pays tribute to her pet python by preparing to serve him to her dinner guests. A strange skull discovered outside an orphanage results in the creation of a cult around one of the charismatic young residents.
Unsettling, moving, insightful, humorous — these beautifully written stories travel between despair and redemption as they illuminate the lives of often deeply flawed characters, and mark the emergence of a major new voice in American fiction.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Though weird and eccentric, Sidhu's stories are also empathetic and refreshingly free of the clichés of immigrant narratives. He manages to portray his characters as uniquely Indian without losing sight of their individuality, offering small, piercing looks into the humanity that resides in every situation and person, no matter how strange."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "With adeptly drawn characters, Sidhu demonstrates a dexterous grasp of the human psyche, while the prevalence of dark twists displays his love of the fatalistic. This propensity for the morose will be off-putting for some but is sure to please those with a taste for black humor and shades of the diabolical."
      • premium: False
      • source: Shalini Mukerji, Outlook India
      • content: "Among these stories of dislocation and fragments of lives when time seems out of joint, The Discovery could have you thinking of Toba Tek Singh--Manto's heartbreak about the madness of Partition, for it's about a man who can't make sense of the world as it splinters into 'notcountries' and 'notwords'. Border Song, among the lightest pieces in this collection, finds transformative grace in grief and a closure of sorts that eludes characters in The Order of Things, a masterpiece of a story that could have you marvelling at Sidhu's incisive and distinctive perspective for the Punjab experience of violence, exile and estrangement--both within India and abroad."
      • premium: False
      • source: Harry Mathews, author of My Life in CIA, Cigarettes and The Journalist
      • content: “Whenever I pick up a story by Ranbir Sidhu, I feel as though I've been released from the cedarwood closet of literature into the fresh air of active creation; as though I'd been fitted with brand-new high-tech earphones picking up an infinity of eloquent microphones cleverly scattered around the world. The pops and squeaks of new life crackle in my ears, and even when they're threatening or saddening, I'm inevitably overcome by the hope that they'll never stop."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius A Comedy, and No Lease On Life
      • content: “Ranbir Sidhu is imaginative, with a dry, sly wit, very intelligent, and owns a wicked sensibility, all of which makes his fiction smart, daring, sensitive to human perversity, and keen in its observations. He is one of the most compelling and sophisticated younger writers today; and his writing is beautiful and entertaining."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis
      • content: “The first-person narrator of 'The Good Poet of Africa' despises poetry, repays compassion with insult, and enjoys lying to children. but, by story's end, the moral universe will be turned on its head, and the reader will empathize with Ranbir Sidhu's loathsome protagonist. This is writing of uncommon assurance and skill."
      • premium: False
      • source: Edward Albee, author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Zoo Story, and The Goat; three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and four-time Tony Award winner
      • content: “When I first met Ranbir Sidhu, he was a resident at the Edward F. Albee Foundation in Montauk and while there, he displayed tremendous talent and dedication. His work takes risks, is often daring and imaginative, and I appreciate the intelligence he brings to his craft. I look forward to reading his new collection of stories, Good Indian Girls."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 15, 2013
        When Lovedeep signs up for a New Age “de-cluttering” class, she finally finds the change she’s been hoping for in Ian, the shy man she meets there, in this collection’s title story. Sidhu’s debut offers 12 varied snapshots of the lives of Indians at home and abroad. “Hero of the Nation” features a student at a special needs school, Ruby, who sneaks her mute grandfather cigarettes while he torments the rest of her family with his incontinence. “The Good Poet of Africa” involves a low-level diplomat who, soon after arriving at a new post in San Francisco, discovers that everyone there thinks he’s a famous Urdu poet. In “The Consul’s Wife,” Pavarti considers her life married to a diplomat and grieves her pet snake’s death while deciding what to serve at a dinner party, and in “Children’s Games,” an Indian orphanage falls under the sway of a cult. Though weird and eccentric, Sidhu’s stories are also empathetic and refreshingly free of the clichés of immigrant narratives. He manages to portray his characters as uniquely Indian without losing sight of their individuality, offering small, piercing looks into the humanity that resides in every situation and person, no matter how strange.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2013
        Achingly merciless, London-born author Sidhu's 12 short stories sharply delineate the edges of identity and sanity. Playwright, novelist and Pushcart Prize winner Sidhu populates his collection with Indian diaspora. These haunting tales simultaneously attract and repel, enchant and shatter, evoking the ambiguous relationships between past and present, others and self. An airplane crash prompts a gas station employee to descend deeper and deeper into a madness in which everything, beginning with India itself, drops out of existence. Hoping to gain self-confidence and perhaps love, a young woman joins a decluttering class and finds herself drawn to a serial killer. A diplomat's wife has spent so many years adapting to new cultures that she is dismayed to learn of her husband's plan to retire. With the discovery of her pet python's death, her confusion--what could India possibly mean to her now, after so many years and so many personas?--merges with an erotically tinged grief. Mysteriously promoted from a bottom-rung post in Africa to a cushy job in San Francisco, an alcoholic Indian diplomat tries to figure out why everyone believes he is an Urdu poet. Complicating matters are his emotionless lover and her father, who wields a strange power over her. A man's addiction to classic novels impels him to hire a professional reader, which ruins his marriage. The discovery of a skull at an orphanage catalyzes a cult, a cult that replicates the hierarchy and complicity of colonization. Each ending seems unfinished, leaving each heart cracked open, perhaps to endure more pain or perhaps to remain simply unfulfilled. Deftly sifting through a range of less-often-visited emotions, Sidhu creates inscrutable characters inhabiting bewildering circumstances. Smart, provocative and poignantly disturbing, this collection, the author's U.S. debut, signals a writer to watch.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 1, 2013
        A drunken, misanthropic diplomat transfers to a post in California after being mistaken for a poet in hiding. A young woman seeking to improve her life instead finds herself face-to-face with the end of it. A bibliophile watches as his marriage fails and his perfect world slowly unravels. These are among the 12 tales that, tending toward the nightmarish and sordid, make up this intense collection. A husband and wife celebrate his birthday with a potent drug trip. A lonely wife prepares to cook her deceased pet python and serve him at her upcoming dinner party. The formation of a cult at a boys' school in India evokes the devolving savagery of The Lord of the Flies. With adeptly drawn characters, Sidhu demonstrates a dexterous grasp of the human psyche, while the prevalence of dark twists displays his love of the fatalistic. This propensity for the morose will be of-putting for some but is sure to please those with a taste for black humor and shades of the diabolical.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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In twelve startling and vividly imagined stories, Ranbir Singh Sidhu overturns the lives of ordinary Indians living in America to bring us a bold debut collection, Good Indian Girls.
A woman attends a de-cluttering class in search of love. A low-level, drunkard diplomat finds himself mysteriously transferred to the Consulate in San Francisco, where everyone believes he is a great, lost poet. An anthropological expedition searching for early human fossils goes disastrously wrong and the leader turns to searching for the very first sounds made by humans. The wife of a retiring Consul pays tribute to her pet python by preparing to serve him to her dinner guests. A strange skull discovered outside an orphanage results in the creation of a cult around one of the charismatic young residents.
Unsettling, moving, insightful, humorous — these beautifully written stories travel between despair and redemption as they illuminate the lives of often deeply flawed characters,...
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