The Red Carpet
By Lavanya Sankaran
(Dial Press Trade Paperback, Paperback, 9780385338202, 224pp.)
Publication Date: April 25, 2006
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Wry humor and a delicious grasp of the friction between generations in Bangalore are the hallmarks of Lavanya Sankaran’s fresh, deeply nuanced debut collection. “A potpourri of beggars and billionaires and determinedly laid-back ways,” Bangalore, India’s own Silicon Valley, is a crucible for prosperity, and at the chaotic crossroads between past and present. Here, American-trained professionals like Tara return to their old-fashioned families with heads full of Quentin Tarantino dialogue; a successful entrepreneur is shaken when his partner suddenly reneges on their plan to return to America; a traditional Indian mother slyly circumvents her Western-educated daughter’s resistance to marriage; a neighborhood gossip is determined to discover what goes on behind the closed curtains of the hip young couple across the street; a chauffeur must reconcile his more orthodox credos with his employer’s miniskirt lifestyle.
Witty, affectionate, and wonderfully wise, Lavanya Sankaran’s first collection attests to her remarkable literary talent.
LAVANYA SANKARAN'S work has been published in the Atlantic Monthly and the Wall Street Journal. She attended Bryn Mawr College and has worked in investment banking in New York and consulting in India. She lives in Bangalore, where she is currently at work on her first novel.
"By the end of this very first story, people half a world away have been transformed into complete human beings, full of frailties and fragile self-regard, achingly sympathetic. That's why THE RED CARPET reads like a revelation.... I recommend this book so highly!"--Carolyn See, The Washington Post
"Throughout these fine, articulate stories, Lavanya Sankaran brings to life the new and old social worlds of Bangalore. More importantly, she uses the quiet dignity of her characters to reveal what's universal in the wide rift between generations. It's an unusually elegant and nuanced portrait."
--John Dalton author of Heaven Lake
"[An] animated debut collection.... [These stories] are memorable for their subtle wit and convincing evocation of a dynamic world."--Publishers Weekly