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Ladies Coupe

Anita Nair

St. Martin's Griffin

0312320876

9780312320874

Trade Paperback

320 Pages

$18.99

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Published in over twenty-three countries around the world, Ladies Coupé is a cultural phenomenon disguised as an entertaining, delightful read.

Akhila is forty-five and single, an income-tax clerk, and a woman who has always been the backbone of her impossibly demanding family—until the day she gets herself a one-way ticket to a resort town. In the intimate atmosphere of the all-woman sleeping car—the Ladies Coupé—the women share their lives, their loves, their heartaches, and their triumphs. All of this leads Akhila to answer the question that has always haunted her: has her life been complete without a man?

This wonderfully atmospheric, deliciously warm novel takes the reader into the heart of women's lives in contemporary India, revealing how the dilemmas that women face in their relationships with husbands, mothers, friends, employers, and children are the same the world over.

REVIEWS

Praise for Ladies Coupe

"Nair is a powerful writer . . . she has created what must be one of the most important feminist novels to come out of South Asia."—Daily Telegraph

"Modern India's vivid, sticky beauty is evolved beautifully . . . Nair's compassion for her characters shines through every carefully chosen word."—Sunday Tribune

"Nair's strength lies in bringing alive the everyday thoughts, desires, and doubts of these six ordinary women."—The Times Literary Supplement

"Nair focuses on the seemingly restricted lives of contemporary Indian women. Akhila is a 45-year-old spinster who has supported her family since her father's death 26 years ago. Needing to examine her unfulfilled life, she buys a one-way ticket to a resort town. During the train ride, Akhila and the five other women in her compartment intimately share details about their relationships with husbands and families and their sexual experiences. Each woman's tale is a crystalline gem of knowledge and insight. While Margaret deliberately fattened her husband to take the nasty edge off his bullying personality, Sheela adorned her grandmother's corpse because she understood the old woman's vanity and fear of aging; Mari rejected the son who was born of a rape. A sensitive exploration of the tension of self-actualization vs. familial responsibility in a society with traditional values, this novel—first published in India and a best seller in France and Italy—will surely resonate with readers everywhere. For all fiction collections."—Library Journal

"Indian author Nair's first U.S. publication offers a quietly powerful feminist message in the story of a middle-aged spinster, one who finds the courage and support to live independently as she and her fellow passengers on an overnight train share their stories."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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  IThis is the way it has always been: the smell of a railway platform at night fills Akhila with a sense of escape.The long concrete corridor that stretches into the night segmented by signboards and the light and shadow of station lights. The moving hands of a clock beating an urgent rhythm to the din of mounted TV screens and the creak of trolleys laden with baskets and sacks. The crackling of the public address system as it hisses into life, announcing arrivals and departures. Jasmine wound in the hair, sweat and hair-oil, talcum powder and stale food, moist gunny bags and the raw green-tinged
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Anita Nair

  • Anita Nair lives in Bangalore, India. Her books have been published in several languages around the world.
  • Anita Nair David Ignaszewski
    Anita Nair
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