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Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee
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May 15, 2007

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Read in May, 2007

What will you give to be an American? What will you give to experience the American dream, to grasp all the prosperity and security and happiness that so many Americans seem to have?

For Jyoti, a seventeen-year-old widow who lost her husband to the violence that plagues India, there's not a lot she won't do. Illegally immigrate? Sure, why not? Commit murder? Steal another woman's husband, and then leave him? There you go. As Jyoti gradually acclimates to the society and values of America, she leaves more and more of her Indian self in the past, and undergoes many transformations as she tries to discover who she is and what she wants. Duty and common sense compete with desire and passion; which way of life will she ultimately adopt?

Oddly enough, you'll have a lot of sympathy for Jyoti. She's just a woman, trying to survive and make a life for herself...and will bring home to many of us, secure and smug with our prosperity, what many people are willing to do to gain the uniquw opportunities of America...



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