THE WINK by Evelyn Harter


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From the author of Bosom of the Family (1985), another novel about the vexed meeting of the cultures of India and America. Ruthless capitalist business-sense confronts traditional Indian customs, and becomes a metaphor for the dubious advantages of westernized modernity. Leland Holt, successful American businessman, takes his bored, rich, petted wife Andria away from the Junior League Waldorf Ball to vacation in India while he negotiates a business deal with Lotus Labels, an Indian family finn that prints container-labels for mango chutney. Rama Rao, owner of Lotus Labels, desperately needs the money from this business deal to pay an exorbitant dowry for one of his daughters; Leland Holt wants him to fire the deadwood family members from the business; but Ram cannot bring himself to destroy the most sacred tradition of Indian culture--family loyalty--and eventually the business deal fails. Meanwhile, amidst vague, undeveloped overtures toward ""the big questions"" of Hinduism, the cult of Kali, poverty, and suffering, Andria becomes riveted by a deformed beggar and takes a tumble for social work among the destitute and dying. This seems to mean that she must leave her husband and never return to the Junior League, though the hardly nimble-footed plot is unresolved on this matter. Some distinguished writing, but the story drags.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1986
Publisher: St. Martin's