An Unrestored Woman (Paperback)
"What an astonishing collection Provoking, ferocious, moving, splendid, generous and essential. I seemed to finish the book in a different world than the one in which I began it."
--Kelly Link, author of Get In Trouble and Stranger Things Happen
In her mesmerizing debut, Shobha Rao recounts the untold human costs of one of the largest migrations in history.
1947: the Indian subcontinent is partitioned into two separate countries, India and Pakistan. And with one decree, countless lives are changed forever.
An Unrestored Woman explores the fault lines in this mass displacement of humanity: a new mother is trapped on the wrong side of the border; a soldier finds the love of his life but is powerless to act on it; an ambitious servant seduces both master and mistress; a young prostitute quietly, inexorably plots revenge on the madam who holds her hostage. Caught in a world of shifting borders, Rao's characters have reached their tipping points.
In paired stories that hail from India and Pakistan to the United States, Italy, and England, we witness the ramifications of the violent uprooting of families, the price they pay over generations, and the uncanny relevance these stories have in our world today.
About the Author
Shobha Rao moved to the U.S. from India at the age of seven. She is the winner of the 2014 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, awarded by Nimrod International Journal. She has been a resident at Hedgebrook and is the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation fellowship. Her story "Kavitha and Mustafa" was chosen by T.C. Boyle for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories 2015. She lives in San Francisco.