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Kavita Daswani is an Indian-American author. All three of her novels deal with the Indian practice of arranged marriages, and features heroines that refuse to go along with tradition.
Her books represent the changes taking place in the diaspora Indian communities, especially regarding institutions such as marriage, the wife's role in families, and increasing opportunities for women. Daswani's combination of humor and culture tension make her books an escapist read.
In her own life, she was once matched with a man in Nashik, India, who it turned out, had been spent two days in jail for having strippers in his bar. After going through much infructious match-making, she was finally married at 36.
She has been a fashion correspondent for CNN, CNBC Asia, and Women's Wear Daily, has written for the Los Angeles Times and the International Herald Tribune, among many other publications, and has been the fashion editor for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.
For Matrimonial Purposes
The unconventional American desi heroine defies Indian tradition to find her own happy ending.
Hilarious and heartwarming, For Matrimonial Purposes proves that while the search for love takes many forms, the heartbreak and exhilaration are universal. In a sensual whirl of silk and spices, Kavita Daswani takes us from Bombay to New York and back again - in what is sure to be one of the most welcomed debuts of the summer.
Unmarried at twenty-four - and with no prospects in sight - Anju is a great source of worry to her family. Despite the best efforts of relatives, fortune-tellers, and matchmakers to arrange a marriage, she can't seem to find a husband - or at least one she's willing to marry.
Quickly becoming a spinster by her culture's standards, she is eager to escape the community that views her as a failure. After pleading with her parents for permission, she boards a plane bound for the United States and a dream of a career. And although husband-hunting isn't any easier in New York City, at least she's got company.
Tanaya Shah longs for the wonderful world of Paris, the world that she fell in love with while watching Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina—so when a proposal comes along for an arranged marriage with a man who is living in Paris, Tanaya seizes the chance. But once she lands in the city, she shuns the match. A stroke of luck turns Tanaya into a supermodel, and soon the traditional girl is cavorting with rock stars and is disowned by her family. In her new whirlwind life, she is reintroduced to the man she was supposed to marry, the man she now realizes she should have never walked away from, the man who is her only connection to the family she longs to reconcile with, if only it’s not too late.
The Village Bride of Beverly Hills aka Everything Happens for a Reason
After an arranged marriage in her native India, Priya moves with her husband to California, where they share a house with his parents. Playing the traditional daughter-in-law role, she's expected to clean, cook, and-because she doesn't immediately get pregnant-find a job as well! But the job Priya lands isn't at all what her in-laws had in mind for a traditional Indian wife. She soon finds herself with a secret life that she must hide from her disapproving new family. All the while, she is growing into a marriage to a man whose loyalty is decidedly torn between his parents and his bride. This is hardly surprising, given that he met his wife only a week before their wedding. The question is, can this fragile new love survive the pull between tradition and ambition?
- Matthew Thornton, "Deals", Publishers Weekly, 2/13/2006, Vol. 253 Issue 7, p10