8Books Review: Seeking Fortune Elsewhere by Sindya Bhanoo

Seeking Fortune Elsewhere is a delectable debut short story collection from Sindya Bhanoo. It opens with the story that won her the O. Henry Prize, “Malliga Homes.” Each story centers South Asian women and their families. Many focus on later stages of life and are threaded through with ghosts of the past, memories of what was, could or should have been, nostalgia, grief, regrets, joy.

I liked that many look at intergenerational family relations. A mother who is distant from her grown daughters. A couple living in a retirement community in India, while their children live and work on other continents. So too does it consider diaspora and immigration. A daughter witnessing the difference between her father’s life in America and her uncle’s life in India.

The stories unravel with great care, examining a spectrum of human emotions with bravery and delicacy. A mother’s unique response to a school shooting. A professor accused of exploiting his students. Each is a thoughtful, empathetic read.

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About Lily

East Coast Chinese American. I like thick-skinned dumplings and hard-covered books.
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