Monday, May 19, 2008

Climbing the Stairs

I very much enjoyed Padma Venkatraman's story of a girl struggling against social conventions in India during World War II. Vidya's father, a doctor, does not care about the strictures of the family's Brahmin caste, and is willing to continue her education to include college. However, when he is critically injured in a protest against the British, the family must move in with the rest of the family, who believe that women should only be married. Vidya finds the library at her grandfather's house, and is allowed to read there. This is a great picture not only of how women were treated in another place and time, but also a good depiction of what was going on in India during World War II. I can't think of anything else I've read set then.

However, I probably won't buy this. I have a lot of great Indian fiction, and it's not something that is asked for a lot. (Did eventually get a copy. 7/13)

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