*** THE ABUNDANCE has been selected, by the State Library of Ohio, for the 2015-2016 Choose to Read Ohio Program.***
For my NEW YORK TIMES Sunday Review essay, on the nature of the writer-reader relationship in a book like The Abundance, click here.
Wonderful review in THE ECONOMIST.
NPR INTERVIEW about the novel, my family, food, and the nitty-gritty of time management.
Featured Author and Novel at the 2014 Ohioana Book Festival.
HUFFINGTON POST Video Interview about the novel and "immigrant fiction."
BBC Interview...is no longer available online.
Glowing reviews and profiles in:
INDIA ABROAD * COLUMBUS DISPATCH * DALLAS NEWS
* THE NEWS-REGISTER * THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER * HYPHEN * KHABAR MAGAZINE * INDIA CURRENTS * COLUMBUS MONTHLY * NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY SELECTION * LIBRARY JOURNAL * KIRKUS REVIEWS (STARRED REVIEW) * etc.
“A wonder of lyrical and transparent writing.... Its complexity keeps The Abundance feeling so fresh and human: We hurt even when we mean to heal.”
--Cleveland Plain Dealer
“This heartbreakingly lovely novel evocatively captures the often contentious but ultimately loving essence of a cross-generational Indian American family.… Majmudar, author of the highly regarded Partitions, displays an understated flair for imagery and language, communicating the significance of the ties that bind without ever resorting to mawkish sentimentality. Delectable and convincing literary fiction that subtly shines the spotlight on some basic universal truths.”
“Majmudar’s magnificent fiction debut, Partitions, investigated the wrenching moral dilemmas posed by the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947; here, he trains the same unsparing yet compassionate eye on a contemporary family in the Midwest.... ‘This is not a book about dying,’ the narrator informs us. ‘This is a book about life.’ Indeed it is, and not life airbrushed by sentimentality, but life as it is actually experienced by flawed human beings—perfectly rendered by their gifted author. Beautifully written and deeply moving.”
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A moving story of motherhood across cultural divides... Powerful in its simplicity and honesty, The Abundance reminds us of the way our roots inevitably shape our adult selves.”
“A page-turner to tempt you… A sweet-and-spicy story of parenting across generational and cultural gaps.”
(US Cover--CLICK TO PURCHASE FROM AMAZON.COM).
Kirkus Books Full Review:
A mother's terminal illness reveals fault lines as well as enduring bonds in an Indian-American family. Majmudar's magnificent fiction debut, Partitions (2011), investigated the wrenching moral dilemmas posed by the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947; here, he trains the same unsparing yet compassionate eye on a contemporary family in the Midwest. His unnamed narrator, recently diagnosed with cancer, has made her husband, Abhi, promise not to tell their children and grandchildren until after Christmas. "I did not want the spotlight of their concern," she confides. "The idea embarrassed me." Ever since she flunked the exam for foreign medical graduates, she has asserted her self-worth by caring for others, particularly with the traditional Indian food she takes pride in preparing--and subtly nags daughter Mala for not making for her own children. Son Ronak, who married a Caucasian and calls and visits far less than dutiful Mala, gets much more hands-off treatment, which has not escaped the notice of his infuriated sister. Yet, as the story progresses and the narrator weakens, we see the profound love that unites the family. Mala, a stressed-out doctor who previously had "no respect for the art...[that] smacked of Old World female subservience," asks her mother to teach her how to cook; their contentious relationship softens over the spices, and by the following Thanksgiving, Mala is making the entire holiday meal, assisted by Ronak's wife, Amber. The accumulated grievances of decades still erupt from time to time, but they are mostly subsumed by the simple, basic knowledge that the narrator has very little time left. She allows only occasional glimpses of the grim particulars, such as having fluids drained from her cancer-swollen belly. "This is not a book about dying," she informs us. "This is a book about life." Indeed it is, and not life airbrushed by sentimentality, but life as it is actually experienced by flawed human beings--perfectly rendered by their gifted author. Beautifully written and deeply moving. (starred review)
Publishers Weekly Full Review:
Majmudar (Partitions) returns with a moving story of motherhood across cultural divides. After Mala and Ronak’s mother tells them she has been diagnosed with cancer, the center of their world shifts from their own children and spouses and back to the woman who raised them. Their mother fears the change her illness will bring, not only to her body but also to the family’s comfortable routine. She realizes some good might result, though, when Mala unexpectedly decides to learn how to cook the Indian meals she ate as a child. During the hours they spend together making dahi and rotli, Mala and Ronak’s mother (never given her own name) muses upon watching them grow up and mature, from struggling as the children of immigrants in the Midwest to becoming parents themselves. Majmudar’s precise dialogue saves the novel from its few moments of sentimentality and makes the theme of the divide between immigrant parent and first-generation children seem surprisingly fresh. Powerful in its simplicity and honesty, The Abundance reminds us of the way our roots inevitably shape our adult selves. Agent: Georges Borchardt, the Georges Borchardt Literary Agency. (Mar.)
BOOKLIST Full review:
This heartbreakingly lovely novel evocatively captures the often contentious but ultimately loving essence of a cross-generational Indian American family. Steeped in traditional Indian culture and customs while at the same time embracing their prosperous American lifestyle, the parental protagonists are often at odds with their more thoroughly westernized adult offspring. When they learn their mother is dying, physician Mala and investment banker Ronak return home, embarking on a family project revolving around that staple of the fictional memoir: food. As she teaches her formerly reluctant daughter the timeless art of ethnic Gujarati cuisine, the unnamed narrator copes with her physical deterioration by mentally unfurling her past. Meanwhile, new bonds are forged and old ones are strengthened as the family dynamic necessarily shifts. Majmudar, author of the highly regarded Partitions (2011), displays an understated flair for imagery and language, communicating the significance of the ties that bind without ever resorting to mawkish sentimentality. Delectable and convincing literary fiction that subtly shines the spotlight on some basic universal truths.
UK Cover (CLICK TO PURCHASE FROM AMAZON.CO.UK):