by Anita Nair
India. 2004. 304 pages.
Meet Akhilandeshwari, Akhila for short: forty-five and single, an income-tax clerk, and a woman who has never been allowed to live her own life – always the daughter, the sister, the aunt, the provider.
Until the day she gets herself a one-way ticket to the seaside town of Kanyakumari, gloriously alone for the first time in her life and determined to break free of all that her conservative Tamil brahmin life has bound her to.
In the intimate atmosphere of the ladies coupé which she shares with five other women, Akhila gets to know her fellow travelers. As she listens to the women’s stories, Akhila is drawn into the most private moments of their lives, seeking in them a solution to the question that has been with her all her life: Can a woman stay single and be happy, or does a woman need a man to feel complete?
About the author
Anita Nair is a popular Indian-English writer, born in Mundakottakurissi (Kerala State). A bestselling author of fiction and poetry, her novels The Better Man and Ladies Coupé have been translated in to 21 languages. She was educated in Chennai (Madras) before returning to Kerala, where she gained a BA in English Language and Literature. She was working as the creative director of an advertising agency in Bangalore when she wrote her first book, a collection of short stories called Satyr of the Subway, which she sold to Har-Anand Press. The book won her a fellowship from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her second book was published by Penguin India, and was the first book by an Indian author to be published by Picador USA. She lives in Bangalore. (Image and text credits: Wikipedia)
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