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A witty and tender story that endears readers to Indian culture and one of their most sacred symbols, the cow.

A culture writer and cookbook author leaves New York City to reconnect with her roots in this humorous and heartwarming story about cows, Indian culture, and the strength of female friendship.

Despite being born and raised in India, Narayan (Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes, 2003, etc.) spent most of her adult life in New York. With her parents and in-laws beginning to age, she decided to pack up and relocate her entire family to Bangalore as a way to be closer to her older loved ones and to reconnect herself and her children to their cultural roots. Everything about their new home seemed different from the familiar comforts of New York, but one thing stood out more than anything else in her new world: India’s sacred cows and the people who care for them—particularly, a local milk lady named Sarala who grazed her small herd of cows across the street from Narayan’s new home. When Narayan decided to take the plunge and buy Sarala’s fresh milk after doing weeks of intensive online and anecdotal research on the subject, the two formed a fast friendship based on their deep personal connection to their shared Indian roots, love of family, interest in food, and, most of all, desire to find just the right cow for Narayan to purchase for Sarala. At once sincere and laugh-out-loud funny, this memoir chronicles a genuine bond between two remarkable women that transcends class, culture, and privilege. In this beautiful examination of the differences between Eastern and Western cultures as told through the eyes of a writer who is uniquely qualified to comment on both, Narayan’s rich and evocative writing transports readers to the busy streets of Bangalore and a fully formed picture of modern India that includes cow urine tablets, bus crashes, and many different kinds of milk.

A witty and tender story that endears readers to Indian culture and one of their most sacred symbols, the cow.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61620-615-4

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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