Jasmine (novel)

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Jasmine cover.jpg
Author Bharati Mukherjee
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Grove Press; 1st ed.
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
Pages 241 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-8021-1032-0
OCLC 19625274
Preceded by The Middleman and Other Stories
Followed by The Holder of the World

Jasmine (1989) is a novel by Bharati Mukherjee set in the present about a young Indian woman in the United States who, trying to adapt to the American way of life in order to be able to survive, changes identities several times.


The main backdrop of Jasmine, which was based on an earlier short story in The Middleman and Other Stories, is the mixing of the East and West through the story telling of a seventeen-year-old Hindu woman who leaves India for the U.S. after her husband's murder in a religious attack in India. In her path she faces many problems, eventually returning to the position of health professional through a series of jobs. Here in this context the unity between the First and Third World is shown in the treatment of women as subordinate to men in both countries. The story expanded as a story of a young girl suddenly widowed at seventeen. She uproots herself from her life in India and re-roots herself in search of a new life and the image of America as well. It is a story of dislocation and relocation as the protagonist continually sheds lives to move into other roles, moving further westward. The author in parts of the novel shows some agony to the third world as she shows that Jasmine needs to travel to America to make something significant in her life. And in the third world she faced only despair and loss.

Main characters[edit]

  • Jyoti/Jasmine/Jane/Jase - The protagonist of the novel. She is constantly reinvented and most of the names she goes by are given to her by men
  • Prakash Vij - Jasmine's first husband whom she marries while in India.
  • Taylor - Jasmine's employer and love interest. He is the father of Duff, the young girl for whom Jasmine serves as a nanny when living in New York.
  • Bud Ripplemayer - Jasmine's husband whom she meets through his mother in Iowa. He works for a bank and is paralyzed when he is shot.
  • Du - Jasmine and Bud's adopted Vietnamese son.
  • Darrell Lutz - Jasmine's neighbor while in Iowa. He seems to be infatuated by Jasmine. He is a farmer and struggles to get a loan from Bud's bank in the novel.
  • Karin - Bud's ex-wife whom he leaves for Jasmine.


  • Selected as a New York Times Book Review notable book of the year.

Further reading[edit]

Book information[edit]

Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee