Good Indian Girls: Stories
Ranbir Singh Sidhu
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A woman attends a de-cluttering class in search of love. A low-level, drunkard diplomat finds himself mysteriously transferred to the Consulate in San Francisco, where everyone believes he is a great, lost poet. An anthropological expedition searching for early human fossils goes disastrously wrong and the leader turns to searching for the very first sounds made by humans. The wife of a retiring Consul pays tribute to her pet python by preparing to serve him to her dinner guests. A strange skull discovered outside an orphanage results in the creation of a cult around one of the charismatic young residents.
Unsettling, moving, insightful, humorous — these beautifully written stories travel between despair and redemption as they illuminate the lives of often deeply flawed characters, and mark the emergence of a major new voice in American fiction.
everywhere.” She is almost in tears. “Look at me. I’m a disaster. I don’t know how, I don’t know anything. I’m supposed to be an Indian woman. This is what I’m going to teach my daughter. God, I hate myself. I can’t do anything. Not anything.” “Here,” handing her the joint. She takes a long toke, hands it back, and picks up the rubber penis. “I couldn’t resist. I saw it there today and I had to. You understand?” “I’m flying,” Hari says. “That’s all. I’m flying.” “You are. I want to know. Tell
edge of the highway, where the roar of tires on blacktop drowned my thoughts. Mom did find him. His hand was resting where he’d left it. I could hear her from my room, shouting at Dad when she told him. “He was doing that—in his own shit!” I took up a position at the railing where I could listen more easily. “He always hated you,” Mom shouted, “and now he’s come here so he can hate you properly.” Dad was silent for a long minute and I crept down along the stairway, hoping to catch his words. “I
intensive surveys, this area could prove fruitful. Ismail and I were walking. The high sun hid our shadows under our feet. When we came to the last gully, his face was weary and sweat glinted off his skin like jewels. I’ll take this side, I said, you that. He nodded. He had been distracted all morning, said he had heard a gunshot in the night. But on the two-way radio back into town, there was no news of any trouble. There were the regular skirmishes farther north of us, but nothing where we
written the essay and had deliberately dumbed it down). One day Howard received a reply from one of the scientists. On the reverse of the envelope was printed a crown, the Royal Academy of something or other, and we were all impressed and a little terrified at its meaning. Not only had Howard dared to send a message out into the world, a bottle from our island of shipwrecked isolation, but he had received a reply. A ship’s sail cut across our horizon and we were all afraid of its imminent
birth by wolves and reared in feral packs. When they were found and captured, they never assimilated back into society: they would eat only raw meat, they tore to shreds any clothes they were given, ran around on all fours, and never talked, only howled or whimpered, pining for a lost freedom. I was affected by the description of the silence of the boys; I began to see myself like them, lost to the society of the orphanage children. I had been thrown out of its orbit, thrown into a state of feral