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The Lucky Ones

A Memoir

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A moving memoir by a survivor of anti-Muslim violence in contemporary India that delicately weaves political and family histories in a tribute to her country’s unique Islamic heritage—“a must-read in our warring world today” (NPR)

“A harrowing survivor’s tale, an important history lesson, and a desperate warning from someone who has seen the tragic effects of ethnic violence.”—Time


In 2002, Zara Chowdhary is sixteen years old and living with her family in Ahmedabad, one of India’s fastest-growing cities, when a gruesome train fire claims the lives of sixty Hindu right-wing volunteers and upends the life of five million Muslims. Instead of taking her school exams that week, Zara is put under a three-month siege, with her family and thousands of others fearing for their lives as Hindu neighbors, friends, and members of civil society transform overnight into bloodthirsty mobs, hunting and massacring their fellow citizens. The chief minister of the state at the time, Narendra Modi, will later be accused of fomenting the massacre, and yet a decade later, will rise to become India’s prime minister, sending the “world’s largest democracy” hurtling toward cacophonous Hindu nationalism. 
 
The Lucky Ones traces the past of a multigenerational Muslim family to India’s brave but bloody origins, a segregated city’s ancient past, and the lingering hurt causing bloodshed on the streets. Symphonic interludes offer glimpses into the precious, ordinary lives of Muslims, all locked together in a crumbling apartment building in the city’s old quarters, with their ability to forgive and find laughter, to offer grace even as the world outside, and their place in it, falls apart.
 
The Lucky Ones entwines lost histories across a subcontinent, examines forgotten myths, prods a family’s secrets, and gazes unflinchingly back at a country rushing to move past the biggest pogrom in its modern history. It is a warning thrown to the world by a young survivor, to democracies that fail to protect their vulnerable, and to homes that won’t listen to their daughters. It is an ode to the rebellion of a young woman who insists she will belong to her land, family, and faith on her own terms.
On February 27, 2002

At 7:00 P.M., Amma has been missing for two hours. Papa paces the living room. He stops short of the dining table, turns around, and involuntarily ducks under Dadi’s precious crystal chandelier, missing its sharp spikes.

He walks out through the French windows onto the balcony and peers over the parapet, down eight floors. The street is lined with cars and scooters, and Papa’s eyes search for the slightest movement between them, a bird scouring for a worm. She isn’t there.

He bites out the words “Careless. Lying. Always lying,” and back he marches into the living room, ignoring my younger sister, Misba, and me. We sit, hands folded in our laps, by the telephone waiting for it to ring. It peals soon enough, echoes burning through our apartment. Papa swoops on the receiver.

“Walekum-as-salam! Kya? Haan curfew toh hoga. Allah sabka bhalaa kare.” And peace unto you. What? Oh no. Yes, a curfew is likely, then. Allah be kind.

If Papa is invoking Allah, it is safe to assume he is talking to Shah Sahab, our family priest, or pir.

Where is Amma?

The doorbell rings. Gulshan, our maid, rushes to open it; our eyes meet briefly. We share the same dread for Amma. We know what awaits inside. The bell isn’t Amma. Hussain Bhai, Jasmine Apartments’ liftman, stands in the doorway telling Papa that the neighbors are all moving their cars off-street. The Holiday Inn across from Jasmine is offering to let us move vehicles inside its gates. Hussain Bhai asks if Papa wants to move his new Hyundai Santro. Everyone in a one-mile radius around Jasmine has heard Papa boast about how it is the first car he’s bought in twenty years with his hard-earned savings, his khoon paise ki kamaai, a result of his blood, sweat, and tears. Everyone in a one-mile radius also laughs at how six months later he still hasn’t taken off the plastic covering from the seats. Hussain Bhai says someone might set fire to it if rioting starts.

Riot? What is going on? Where is Amma?

Papa and Dadi whisper to each other, which in and of itself is unusual. Something about a train on fire.

Where is Amma?

Papa grabs the car keys and leaves with Hussain Bhai. Dadi finally notices us sitting by the phone and turns to us. “Kahaan gayi hai tumhari Ma?” Where is your mother?

How would I know? I want to snap back, but that will only fuel her.

“Kuch bolti bhi nahin hai. Anney do. Aaj padegi usko Zaheer se.” She never informs us. Let her come back tonight. She’s going to get it from Zaheer. Or more like she will make sure Amma gets it. Dadi walks away muttering.

I leave Misba sitting there and walk to the majoos—this ornately carved antique chest filled with more of Dadi’s precious crystal ware and neatly arranged china. I hate her bloody majoos almost as much as I hate her when she speaks of Amma like that. Like vermin to be crushed under her chappals just because she’s bored.

Past the majoos, between its sharp edges and the wall, is a tiny corner where Amma stacks all our namaz items: soft cotton dupattas, velvety jaanemaaz mats. That corner has a worn, comforting scent I’ve otherwise smelled only in old hole-in-the-wall libraries where Amma takes me some evenings, where I spend hours scavenging for Famous Fives and she for tattered Danielle Steel romances. This corner smells of Amma. I pick up a jaanemaaz and go into Dadi’s room, where I’ve been sleeping with her on her large, low bed for the past two years, since her husband, our grandfather Dada, died. She hates the loneliness more than she hates me, I guess.

I wash my arms, my feet, rub water into my face and scalp. I lay down the jaanemaaz and step onto it, wrap the dupatta around my head, careful to cover every inch of my skin except my palms and fingers. Allah doesn’t mind seeing my fingers, I’m told. But can They see and hear my heart under all this cloth?

Where is my mother, Allah?

I stand, head bowed, hands folded across my chest, and start to pray. I can feel Dadi stop by the room, make a face, and walk away.

The muezzin cries out from the mosque behind our building as if sensing my urgency to start namaz today.

“Allah hu-akbar Allah . . . hu-akbar . . .”

When I was younger, and Indians had only the state-run Doordarshan channel, which syndicated a handful of foreign shows, I used to watch Hindi-dubbed Aladdin with almost religious zeal. When Amma first taught me how to read namaz, I couldn’t focus on the ritual, so while she chanted aloud in Arabic, a language I couldn’t understand, I would distract myself pretending the jaanemaaz was a flying carpet. I’d sway back and forth on my heels, mimicking Amma’s trance, but really in my head, I was steering, racing through the clouds, higher, lower, faster, away from any shadow that could catch me. Every time I passed by that musty corner near the majoos, I’d look at the jaanemaaz stack and smile to myself thinking here they were, these magical things, hiding in a dark corner of this darkness-filled apartment, my secret spaces of silence in a house full of noise and people always in each other’s business. Amma also unwittingly fueled this fantasy.

“Allah listens to the voices of innocent children before He listens to anyone else.” What other incentive does a child full of things to pray and plead for need, right?


Wave after wave of azaans blare from loudspeakers in all four directions; muezzins from six mosques chase one another. Papa jokes that five times a day the maulanas are participating in a talent competition, crying louder, hoarser, outshouting each other vying for our attention. Our neighborhood, Khanpur, doesn’t have fancy malls or restaurants, but we have something few others do: the burden of guilt if you don’t answer six separate, belligerent calls to prayer.

Today my ears strain for another sound, though. Through all the holy cacophony: the sound of Amma ringing the doorbell.

While my lips softly recite each Arabic word with blind devotion, my ears are pricked for the sound of the lift. Living in a forty-year-old apartment building with a groaning elevator system has trained our ears with a strange gift: the ability to tell which floor the lift car stops at and whether the doors are opening or closing based on which of the two metal grill doors clanks into place first. The rusty pulley system is somewhere above our apartment, and now I hear it grating and squeaking as the lift car travels up the shaft from the ground floor. I lie facedown on my jaanemaaz, palms facing the ceiling, breathing in the smells of Amma and counting the floors as the lift passes each one—fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh—it hasn’t stopped! Heart thumping, I quickly mutter, “Sorry, Allah miya,” jump off and fold the jaanemaaz, and run to the door, pulling it open before she can ring the bell, before the wrath of Dadi welcomes her in. Gulshan is in the kitchen passage peering through the unlit hallway, forehead creased.

There she is. On the threshold of the apartment, hands laden with grocery bags. My amma.

“Bhabhi!” Gulshan hisses with urgency and rushes to help her with the bag. “Kidhar chale gaye the? Mummy aur Bhai ne toh dimaag khaa liya.” Where’d you disappear to? Your mother-in-law and husband chewed our brains out! She bursts into giggles as only Gulshan can in a moment of tension. I’ve learned this from her—a heart full of fear and a mouth full of mirth—I catch myself doing it even today, giggling when I’m most scared.

Gulshan is our first domestic worker to stick it out in a series of many who vanish within months, sometimes weeks, of dealing with Dadi. Gulshan has worked in apartment C-8 Jasmine for five years, carrying groceries with Amma, checking our heads for lice, kneading endless balls of dough, washing all our clothes and utensils, being bullied by Dadi and my aunt Phupu. All thanks to her only friend and ally in the house: Amma. After all, they are treated pretty much on par in this home. Gulshan truly relishes it whenever she can whinge about Dadi.

Amma hurries into the kitchen and unloads her armfuls of plastic bags. She’s speaking as quickly as her hands move. She went out at four saying she needed to pick up kadi patta-mirchi-dhania. Curry leaves, green chilies, and cilantro, which was code for “I need a minute to get away and breathe.” She walked down the building stairs to the pavement, took the long way around the block rather than cut through the narrow alleys in between the buildings. She went to the small bazaar in the chowk where vendors stand all day, lorries overflowing with seasonal vegetables and fruits, covered in equal parts mud and flies. She bought her herbs and was headed back to Jasmine feeling somewhat restored when on the front steps she ran into Nasheman auntie, her morning walk companion from the seventh floor, who told her the same thing Dadi and Papa had been whispering about. A train was set on fire in some town called Godhra. There was talk of a curfew. Amma turned right around and went back to the market, this time for everything else she would need if the shops stayed shut all week—milk, bread, eggs, onions, potatoes, meat, fish. Only this time, she found herself among frenzied, frantic neighbors, longer lines, an entire community hurrying to get back home before dark.
“A harrowing survivor’s tale, an important history lesson, and a desperate warning from someone who has seen the tragic effects of ethnic violence.”Time

“The Lucky Ones is a unique memoir in English of this largest-ever massacre in independent India. It is also about a communal crisis bringing a fractured family together. A must-read in our warring world today.”NPR

“Easily the best memoir coming out of South Asia in recent years, The Lucky Ones is essential reading for anyone who loves great writing, told true and straight as an arrow to the heart.”—Suketu Mehta, author of Pulitzer Finalist Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

The Lucky Ones is proof that it is in the voice of a minority population that a nation is revealed.  Nobody knows a country better, nobody fights more fiercely for what is good in it, nobody has a greater stake, nobody has more profound ownership.”—Kiran Desai, Booker Prize winning author of The Inheritance of Loss

“A warning, thrown to the world, and a stunning debut—Chowdhary is a much-needed new voice.”—Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

“An astonishing feat of storytelling, an urgent reckoning with a past that feels all too present, and a moving ode to the women in her family, Chowdhary’s memoir is one that should and will haunt you.”—Nicole Chung, author of A Living Remedy

The Lucky Ones by Zara Chowdhary is a lacerating, gorgeous, unsettling recuperation of national memory from the forces of oblivion. She uncovers its roots and reveals, with shocking hope, what a vision for grace and kindness in the future may be.”—Kazim Ali, author of Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water

The Lucky Ones is a necessary, deep reckoning with history, identity, and violence. This memoir will break your heart and then repair it.”—Beth Nguyen, author of Owner of a Lonely Heart

“Blending lyrical writing and investigative reports, this is a necessary read—especially in these times of Islamophobia and genocide.”—Lamya H, author of Hijab Butch Blues

The Lucky Ones is an act of urgent political witness, a refusal to allow the brutalities of twenty years ago to be forgotten—and repeated—today.”—Tessa Hulls, author of Feeding Ghosts

“Chowdhary delivers an exceptional portrait of resilience in the face of unfathomable cruelty. This is difficult to forget.”Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“This is reading fire in your hands. Do not miss it.”—Booklist, starred review

“A tight, suspenseful narrative that interweaves one girl’s keen observations of family within India’s problematic history.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
© Caitlin M Carlson
Zara Chowdhary is a writer and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin. She has an MFA in creative writing and environment from Iowa State University and a master's in writing for performance from the University of Leeds. She has previously written for documentary television, advertising, and film. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her partner, child, and two cats. View titles by Zara Chowdhary

About

A moving memoir by a survivor of anti-Muslim violence in contemporary India that delicately weaves political and family histories in a tribute to her country’s unique Islamic heritage—“a must-read in our warring world today” (NPR)

“A harrowing survivor’s tale, an important history lesson, and a desperate warning from someone who has seen the tragic effects of ethnic violence.”—Time


In 2002, Zara Chowdhary is sixteen years old and living with her family in Ahmedabad, one of India’s fastest-growing cities, when a gruesome train fire claims the lives of sixty Hindu right-wing volunteers and upends the life of five million Muslims. Instead of taking her school exams that week, Zara is put under a three-month siege, with her family and thousands of others fearing for their lives as Hindu neighbors, friends, and members of civil society transform overnight into bloodthirsty mobs, hunting and massacring their fellow citizens. The chief minister of the state at the time, Narendra Modi, will later be accused of fomenting the massacre, and yet a decade later, will rise to become India’s prime minister, sending the “world’s largest democracy” hurtling toward cacophonous Hindu nationalism. 
 
The Lucky Ones traces the past of a multigenerational Muslim family to India’s brave but bloody origins, a segregated city’s ancient past, and the lingering hurt causing bloodshed on the streets. Symphonic interludes offer glimpses into the precious, ordinary lives of Muslims, all locked together in a crumbling apartment building in the city’s old quarters, with their ability to forgive and find laughter, to offer grace even as the world outside, and their place in it, falls apart.
 
The Lucky Ones entwines lost histories across a subcontinent, examines forgotten myths, prods a family’s secrets, and gazes unflinchingly back at a country rushing to move past the biggest pogrom in its modern history. It is a warning thrown to the world by a young survivor, to democracies that fail to protect their vulnerable, and to homes that won’t listen to their daughters. It is an ode to the rebellion of a young woman who insists she will belong to her land, family, and faith on her own terms.

Excerpt

On February 27, 2002

At 7:00 P.M., Amma has been missing for two hours. Papa paces the living room. He stops short of the dining table, turns around, and involuntarily ducks under Dadi’s precious crystal chandelier, missing its sharp spikes.

He walks out through the French windows onto the balcony and peers over the parapet, down eight floors. The street is lined with cars and scooters, and Papa’s eyes search for the slightest movement between them, a bird scouring for a worm. She isn’t there.

He bites out the words “Careless. Lying. Always lying,” and back he marches into the living room, ignoring my younger sister, Misba, and me. We sit, hands folded in our laps, by the telephone waiting for it to ring. It peals soon enough, echoes burning through our apartment. Papa swoops on the receiver.

“Walekum-as-salam! Kya? Haan curfew toh hoga. Allah sabka bhalaa kare.” And peace unto you. What? Oh no. Yes, a curfew is likely, then. Allah be kind.

If Papa is invoking Allah, it is safe to assume he is talking to Shah Sahab, our family priest, or pir.

Where is Amma?

The doorbell rings. Gulshan, our maid, rushes to open it; our eyes meet briefly. We share the same dread for Amma. We know what awaits inside. The bell isn’t Amma. Hussain Bhai, Jasmine Apartments’ liftman, stands in the doorway telling Papa that the neighbors are all moving their cars off-street. The Holiday Inn across from Jasmine is offering to let us move vehicles inside its gates. Hussain Bhai asks if Papa wants to move his new Hyundai Santro. Everyone in a one-mile radius around Jasmine has heard Papa boast about how it is the first car he’s bought in twenty years with his hard-earned savings, his khoon paise ki kamaai, a result of his blood, sweat, and tears. Everyone in a one-mile radius also laughs at how six months later he still hasn’t taken off the plastic covering from the seats. Hussain Bhai says someone might set fire to it if rioting starts.

Riot? What is going on? Where is Amma?

Papa and Dadi whisper to each other, which in and of itself is unusual. Something about a train on fire.

Where is Amma?

Papa grabs the car keys and leaves with Hussain Bhai. Dadi finally notices us sitting by the phone and turns to us. “Kahaan gayi hai tumhari Ma?” Where is your mother?

How would I know? I want to snap back, but that will only fuel her.

“Kuch bolti bhi nahin hai. Anney do. Aaj padegi usko Zaheer se.” She never informs us. Let her come back tonight. She’s going to get it from Zaheer. Or more like she will make sure Amma gets it. Dadi walks away muttering.

I leave Misba sitting there and walk to the majoos—this ornately carved antique chest filled with more of Dadi’s precious crystal ware and neatly arranged china. I hate her bloody majoos almost as much as I hate her when she speaks of Amma like that. Like vermin to be crushed under her chappals just because she’s bored.

Past the majoos, between its sharp edges and the wall, is a tiny corner where Amma stacks all our namaz items: soft cotton dupattas, velvety jaanemaaz mats. That corner has a worn, comforting scent I’ve otherwise smelled only in old hole-in-the-wall libraries where Amma takes me some evenings, where I spend hours scavenging for Famous Fives and she for tattered Danielle Steel romances. This corner smells of Amma. I pick up a jaanemaaz and go into Dadi’s room, where I’ve been sleeping with her on her large, low bed for the past two years, since her husband, our grandfather Dada, died. She hates the loneliness more than she hates me, I guess.

I wash my arms, my feet, rub water into my face and scalp. I lay down the jaanemaaz and step onto it, wrap the dupatta around my head, careful to cover every inch of my skin except my palms and fingers. Allah doesn’t mind seeing my fingers, I’m told. But can They see and hear my heart under all this cloth?

Where is my mother, Allah?

I stand, head bowed, hands folded across my chest, and start to pray. I can feel Dadi stop by the room, make a face, and walk away.

The muezzin cries out from the mosque behind our building as if sensing my urgency to start namaz today.

“Allah hu-akbar Allah . . . hu-akbar . . .”

When I was younger, and Indians had only the state-run Doordarshan channel, which syndicated a handful of foreign shows, I used to watch Hindi-dubbed Aladdin with almost religious zeal. When Amma first taught me how to read namaz, I couldn’t focus on the ritual, so while she chanted aloud in Arabic, a language I couldn’t understand, I would distract myself pretending the jaanemaaz was a flying carpet. I’d sway back and forth on my heels, mimicking Amma’s trance, but really in my head, I was steering, racing through the clouds, higher, lower, faster, away from any shadow that could catch me. Every time I passed by that musty corner near the majoos, I’d look at the jaanemaaz stack and smile to myself thinking here they were, these magical things, hiding in a dark corner of this darkness-filled apartment, my secret spaces of silence in a house full of noise and people always in each other’s business. Amma also unwittingly fueled this fantasy.

“Allah listens to the voices of innocent children before He listens to anyone else.” What other incentive does a child full of things to pray and plead for need, right?


Wave after wave of azaans blare from loudspeakers in all four directions; muezzins from six mosques chase one another. Papa jokes that five times a day the maulanas are participating in a talent competition, crying louder, hoarser, outshouting each other vying for our attention. Our neighborhood, Khanpur, doesn’t have fancy malls or restaurants, but we have something few others do: the burden of guilt if you don’t answer six separate, belligerent calls to prayer.

Today my ears strain for another sound, though. Through all the holy cacophony: the sound of Amma ringing the doorbell.

While my lips softly recite each Arabic word with blind devotion, my ears are pricked for the sound of the lift. Living in a forty-year-old apartment building with a groaning elevator system has trained our ears with a strange gift: the ability to tell which floor the lift car stops at and whether the doors are opening or closing based on which of the two metal grill doors clanks into place first. The rusty pulley system is somewhere above our apartment, and now I hear it grating and squeaking as the lift car travels up the shaft from the ground floor. I lie facedown on my jaanemaaz, palms facing the ceiling, breathing in the smells of Amma and counting the floors as the lift passes each one—fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh—it hasn’t stopped! Heart thumping, I quickly mutter, “Sorry, Allah miya,” jump off and fold the jaanemaaz, and run to the door, pulling it open before she can ring the bell, before the wrath of Dadi welcomes her in. Gulshan is in the kitchen passage peering through the unlit hallway, forehead creased.

There she is. On the threshold of the apartment, hands laden with grocery bags. My amma.

“Bhabhi!” Gulshan hisses with urgency and rushes to help her with the bag. “Kidhar chale gaye the? Mummy aur Bhai ne toh dimaag khaa liya.” Where’d you disappear to? Your mother-in-law and husband chewed our brains out! She bursts into giggles as only Gulshan can in a moment of tension. I’ve learned this from her—a heart full of fear and a mouth full of mirth—I catch myself doing it even today, giggling when I’m most scared.

Gulshan is our first domestic worker to stick it out in a series of many who vanish within months, sometimes weeks, of dealing with Dadi. Gulshan has worked in apartment C-8 Jasmine for five years, carrying groceries with Amma, checking our heads for lice, kneading endless balls of dough, washing all our clothes and utensils, being bullied by Dadi and my aunt Phupu. All thanks to her only friend and ally in the house: Amma. After all, they are treated pretty much on par in this home. Gulshan truly relishes it whenever she can whinge about Dadi.

Amma hurries into the kitchen and unloads her armfuls of plastic bags. She’s speaking as quickly as her hands move. She went out at four saying she needed to pick up kadi patta-mirchi-dhania. Curry leaves, green chilies, and cilantro, which was code for “I need a minute to get away and breathe.” She walked down the building stairs to the pavement, took the long way around the block rather than cut through the narrow alleys in between the buildings. She went to the small bazaar in the chowk where vendors stand all day, lorries overflowing with seasonal vegetables and fruits, covered in equal parts mud and flies. She bought her herbs and was headed back to Jasmine feeling somewhat restored when on the front steps she ran into Nasheman auntie, her morning walk companion from the seventh floor, who told her the same thing Dadi and Papa had been whispering about. A train was set on fire in some town called Godhra. There was talk of a curfew. Amma turned right around and went back to the market, this time for everything else she would need if the shops stayed shut all week—milk, bread, eggs, onions, potatoes, meat, fish. Only this time, she found herself among frenzied, frantic neighbors, longer lines, an entire community hurrying to get back home before dark.

Reviews

“A harrowing survivor’s tale, an important history lesson, and a desperate warning from someone who has seen the tragic effects of ethnic violence.”Time

“The Lucky Ones is a unique memoir in English of this largest-ever massacre in independent India. It is also about a communal crisis bringing a fractured family together. A must-read in our warring world today.”NPR

“Easily the best memoir coming out of South Asia in recent years, The Lucky Ones is essential reading for anyone who loves great writing, told true and straight as an arrow to the heart.”—Suketu Mehta, author of Pulitzer Finalist Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

The Lucky Ones is proof that it is in the voice of a minority population that a nation is revealed.  Nobody knows a country better, nobody fights more fiercely for what is good in it, nobody has a greater stake, nobody has more profound ownership.”—Kiran Desai, Booker Prize winning author of The Inheritance of Loss

“A warning, thrown to the world, and a stunning debut—Chowdhary is a much-needed new voice.”—Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

“An astonishing feat of storytelling, an urgent reckoning with a past that feels all too present, and a moving ode to the women in her family, Chowdhary’s memoir is one that should and will haunt you.”—Nicole Chung, author of A Living Remedy

The Lucky Ones by Zara Chowdhary is a lacerating, gorgeous, unsettling recuperation of national memory from the forces of oblivion. She uncovers its roots and reveals, with shocking hope, what a vision for grace and kindness in the future may be.”—Kazim Ali, author of Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water

The Lucky Ones is a necessary, deep reckoning with history, identity, and violence. This memoir will break your heart and then repair it.”—Beth Nguyen, author of Owner of a Lonely Heart

“Blending lyrical writing and investigative reports, this is a necessary read—especially in these times of Islamophobia and genocide.”—Lamya H, author of Hijab Butch Blues

The Lucky Ones is an act of urgent political witness, a refusal to allow the brutalities of twenty years ago to be forgotten—and repeated—today.”—Tessa Hulls, author of Feeding Ghosts

“Chowdhary delivers an exceptional portrait of resilience in the face of unfathomable cruelty. This is difficult to forget.”Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“This is reading fire in your hands. Do not miss it.”—Booklist, starred review

“A tight, suspenseful narrative that interweaves one girl’s keen observations of family within India’s problematic history.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Author

© Caitlin M Carlson
Zara Chowdhary is a writer and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin. She has an MFA in creative writing and environment from Iowa State University and a master's in writing for performance from the University of Leeds. She has previously written for documentary television, advertising, and film. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her partner, child, and two cats. View titles by Zara Chowdhary