Kalyana

  • Pages:328
  • Publisher:Second Story Press
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  • Pub Date:03/15/2016
  • Age Groups:Adult Fiction
Paperback
9781927583982
$19.95 USD
Growing up in the Fiji Islands in the late 1960s, Kalyana Mani Seth is an impressionable, plump young girl suited to the meaning of her name: blissful, blessed, the auspicious one. Her mother educates Kalyana about her Indian heritage, vividly telling tales of mischievous Krishna and powerful Mother Kali, and recounting her grandparents’ migration to the tiny, British colony. While the island nation celebrates its recently granted independence, new stories of the feminist revolution in America are carried over the waves of the Pacific to Kalyana’s ears: stories of women who live with men who are not their husbands, who burn their bras, who are free to do as they please. Strange as all this sounds, Kalyana hopes that she will be blessed with a husband who allows her a similar sense of liberty. But nothing prepares her for the trauma of womanhood and the cultural ramifications of silence and shame, as her mother tells her there are some family stories that should never be told.
Khelawan elegantly intertwines the effects of patriarchy, colonialism, slavery, and second-wave feminism in a story about a young woman losing and then finding her voice. Rich in detail and memory, the novel celebrates the power of storytelling as both formative and healing.
– Publishers Weekly
The novel soars when the female characters stop being complicit in matters of gender oppression and start speaking out—a powerful, urgent message, as always.
– Herizons
...Khelawan establishes a convincing and compelling tension between, on the one hand, Kalyana’s limited understanding of her own bodily, mental, and emotional reactions...and, on the other, the adult reader’s ability to recognize symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
– Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review
The novel soars when the female characters stop being complicit in matters of gender oppression and start speaking out—a powerful, urgent message, as always.
– Herizons