Atlas of Unknowns

Atlas of Unknowns

Book - 2009 | First edition
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Tania James's poignant, funny, blazingly original debut novel is a story about sisterhood, the tantalizing dream of America, and the secret histories and hilarious eccentricities of families everywhere. In the wake of their mother's mysterious death, Linno and Anju Vallara are raised in Kerala by their father and grandmother. As a teenager, Anju wins a scholarship to a Manhattan prep school with an act of betrayal that severs her relationship with Linno, whose own future seems to hold little more than marriage. In New York, Anju is plunged into the elite world of her Hindu American host family, led by a well-known television personality and her fiendishly ambitious son, a Princeton dropout determined to make a documentary about Anju's life. But when Anju finds herself ensnared in her own lies, she runs away, helped by a stranger with hidden ties to her parents. Desperate to find Anju, Linno embarks on a journey of her own, toward her sister, and toward her mother, whose memory she has kept shrouded until now. Funny, sad, moving, expertly told, with impeccably rendered portraits of unforgettable families on two continents, James's first novel is a masterful evocation of two sisters whose bonds are powerfully tested, whose love provides the only reliable compass in a landscape of unknowns, and whose dreams of home finally converge in a stunning reunion. A vibrant, dazzlingly original debut.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307268907
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 319 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

A touching and funny novel about sisterhood, the American dream, and the secret histories and hilarious eccentricities of family. After their mother’s death, Linno and Anju are raised in Kerala by their father, a reluctant Christian prone to bouts of dyspepsia, and their superstitious, strong-wil... Read More »

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Dec 05, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. It is a coming of age novel of two sisters, Linno and Anju. Linno and Anju are as close as any two sisters can be till fate leaves Linno in bucolic Kumarakom, Kerala while Anjuleaves for New York - by fair means or foul. From then on we follow the parrallel paths of the two sisters oceans apart and marvel at the progress Linno makes despite her handicap. The author slips bit of their history while spinning a fascinating yarn of current events. Time takes its toll and both sisters want their parrallel lives to converge and to this end we encounter the various interesting characters such as Anju's host parents and their son; and Linno's employer. Will their lives ever converge again? It is well wort ha read to find out.

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