Author of THE SARI SHOP WIDOW
When I was offered a second two-book contract by Kensington Publishing after the first two books, THE DOWRY BRIDE and THE FORBIDDEN DAUGHTER did well in the fiction market, I was just beginning to emerge from writing on serious women’s issues like dowry and female feticide in India. I had been focused on combining social themes with a romantic twist. Weaving the two elements into interesting stories that would appeal to a wider audience had been both emotionally and mentally exhilarating yet exhausting.
Therefore for my third book, THE SARI SHOP WIDOW, I decided to step down from my soapbox and tackle an equally interesting but different subject closer to home – the Indian-American immigrant experience. With so many immigrants pouring into the U.S. to follow their dream and make a life for themselves, a unique Indian-American culture has evolved over the past 40 plus years. As a result, second generation Indian-Americans straddle both cultures and the process can put many of them on a rollercoaster ride.
Children of immigrants who belong to a conservative culture are more deeply affected by the conflict involved in meeting their own need to fit in with their peers while fulfilling their parents’ expectations. In THE SARI SHOP WIDOW, my protagonist, Anjali Kapadia is a classic example of a young woman born and raised in the U.S. by her old-fashioned parents who live in Edison, New Jersey. She is constantly trying to maintain the balance between preserving her independence and making her parents happy.
Anjali owns an upscale sari boutique in partnership with her parents. When the business suddenly starts to go downhill and bankruptcy becomes imminent, Anjali’s rich and dictatorial old uncle arrives from India to bail them out. But the old man comes with a few surprises, one of them being a mysterious young Indo-British man named Rishi Shah. Sparks fly when the stubborn and proud Anjali is told that Rishi and her uncle have big plans for her store, none of which she approves of. However, she can’t deny the strong attraction she feels for Rishi, and turbulent emotions she hasn’t experienced since she became a young widow ten years ago at the age of 27.
THE SARI SHOP WIDOW offers a rare glimpse into not only the Indian experience in America, but also a look at the Indian-American fashion industry. With a protagonist who is a fashion designer and boutique owner, I was able to indulge in vivid descriptions of lush saris, salwar-kameez, lehengas, cholis, and sadras – a colorful spectrum of ethnic clothing from India.
THE SARI SHOP WIDOW is available at all U.S. and Canadian bookstores and online booksellers. To contact me or learn more about my books, author events, book trailer video, recipes, short stories, and sign up for my newsletter, visit my website http://www.shobhanbantwal.com
Thank you for hosting me on “Book Madness.”
About the Author
Shobhan Bantwal calls her writing “Bollywood in a Book,” romantic, colorful, action-packed tales, rich with elements of her own Indian culture — stories that entertain and educate. She is an award-winning women’s fiction author of three published novels and contributed to an anthology of short stories.
Shobhan writes for a variety of publications including The Writer magazine, India Abroad, Little India, U.S. 1, Desi Journal, India Currents, Overseas Indian, and New Woman India. Her short stories have won honors/awards in contests sponsored by Writer’s Digest, New York Stories and New Woman magazines.
You can visit her website at ShobhanBantwal.com