Corruption by Tahar Ben Jelloun
Casablanca and Tangier provide the backdrops for Corruption, an exotic and erotic tale of modern-day morality, reminiscent of Camus's The Stranger. Mourad is the last honest man in Morocco. Much to the chagrin of his boss, his colleagues, and his materialistic wife, he adamantly refuses to accept "commissions" for his work. But his honesty goes unappreciated. Criticized for condemning his family to a life of poverty, encouraged by his boss to be more "flexible," Mourad finally gives in: just one envelope stuffed with cash, then another... Ben Jelloun's compelling novel evokes the universal dangers of succumbing to the daily temptations of modern life, as Mourad lives the consequences of betraying his own conscience after a lifetime of honesty and resistance.
And I have a short review here.
Bitter Sweets by Roopa Farooki
Henna Rub is a precocious teenager whose wheeler-dealer father never misses a business opportunity and whose sumptuous Calcutta marriage to wealthy romantic Ricky-Rashid Karim is achieved by an audacious network of lies. Ricky will learn the truth about his seductive bride, but the way is already paved for a future of double lives and deception--family traits that will filter naturally through the generations, forming an instinctive and unspoken tradition. Even as a child, their daughter Shona, herself conceived on a lie and born in a liar's house, finds telling fibs as easy as ABC. But years later, living above a sweatshop in South London's Tooting Bec, it is Shona who is forced to discover unspeakable truths about her loved ones and come to terms with what superficially holds her family together--and also keeps them apart--across geographical, emotional and cultural distance.
Roopa Farooki has crafted an intelligent, engrossing and emotionally powerful Indian family saga that will stay with you long after you've read the last page.
In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez
It's 1960, and 65-year-old Camila Ureña decides to join the New World. Castro's new world, that is, which she has been following on the news with a heated excitement she hasn't felt for years. Forced into early retirement from her 20-year post as a Spanish teacher among the perky white girls of Vassar College, Camila faces a choice: whether to move to Florida and live down the block from her best friend or to fly over Florida and into Havana where her brothers live--and thereby land in a place of upheaval and hungry ghosts. The hungriest ghost of all is Camila's mother, Salomé Ureña, whose poems became inspirational anthems for a short-lived revolution in the late-19th-century Dominican Republic.
Knots by Nuruddin Farah
A strong, independent, modern woman who was born in Somalia but brought up in North America, Cambara returns to Mogadiscio to escape a failed marriage and an overweening mother. Her journey back to her native home is a desperate attempt to find herself on her own terms-however ironically-in a world of veils and burqas. And she has given herself a mission to reclaim her family's home from the warlord who has taken it as his own. Cambara finds emotional refuge and practical support with a group of Somali women activists working to broker peace in a country that has been savagely riven by its drug-addled, power-hungry men.
Darjeeling by Bharti Kirchner
Novelist and award-winning cookbook author Bharti Kirchner has written a sweeping family saga, a first class fiction about forbidden love and family honor.
Set in the mountainous tea plantations of Darjeeling, India and in New York City, "Darjeeling" is the story of two sisters - Aloka and Sujata - long separated by their love for Pranab, an idealistic young revolutionary. Pranab loves Sujata, the awkward, prickly, younger sister but, out of obligation, marries Aloka, the gracious, beautiful, older sister. When all of their secrets are revealed, the three are forced to leave Darjeeling. Aloka and Pranab flee to New York City and Sujata to Canada. The story opens ten years later, when their Grandmother summons everyone home to the family tea plantation to celebrate her birthday. Despite the fact that Aloka is still very much in love with Pranab, they are in the process of getting a divorce. Sujata, who is still single, runs a successful business importing tea, a business that doesn't fill her broken heart. This trip forces the sisters to wrestle with their bitterness and anger and to try to heal old wounds. What complicates matters is that Pranab, too, is going to India and is intent on rekindling his relationship with Sujata now that his marriage is over.
Although filled with the rich foods, smells, and social confines of another culture, "Darjeeling" is really about the universally human emotions of jealousy, rivalry, love, and honor. It is a complex novel about family, exile, sisterly relations, and how one incident can haunt us for the rest of our lives.
Now the deets on the giveaway...
I'm keeping it simple for the entries. The main entry is to leave a comment telling me which book you'd like to win. This one must be done to qualify.
+1 Tweet this giveaway (@browngirlspeaks) and post the URL in a comment (you can grab this from the time stamp which is a permalink of the tweet found in your timeline)
+1 fan me on facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so
+1 subscribe to my feed via a reader or email and leave a comment
That's it folks! This is open to U.S. residents only (sorry, limited funds). The giveaway ends Friday, July 30th at midnight. I'll announce the five winners on my official blogoversary: Saturday, July 31st.