Nisha Gopalan
April 25, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Red Carpet

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Lavanya Sankaran
publisher
Dial Press
genre
Short Stories, Fiction

We gave it an B+

Eschewing the current love affair with Bollywoodized India, Lavanya Sankaran heads to the less cosmopolitan south for stories set in the emerging Silicon Valley-esque burg of Bangalore. Her tales are neither exotic nor exciting, but thoughtful: Nostalgic and melancholic, they range from musings on the caste system to the pastimes of lonely neighbors — told from the perspective of a city clinging to tradition even as it’s tempted by Western trappings. Though her debut doesn’t quite match the nuance and color of Indian-American Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, the Bangalore-based Sankaran offers a promising and intriguing ride on The Red Carpet.

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