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Coloured and Other Stories [Kindle Edition]

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

What's it like being the ant in the ice cream? The characters in this short story collection will show you; experience life as they know it as transplants from across the world into American suburbia.

Adapted from real life anecdotes both her own and those of others, Mohana takes us into the world of the South Asian immigrant living the American Dream. Think of her as a cultural translator for those who you may not notice otherwise, living in the margins of our cities.

"What are a few inches when you know he will provide for you the rest of your life," her mother would have said, smacking her in the cheek.

The sight of his feet, white, broad toes, and clean, short-clipped nails startled her. Americans normally wore their shoes everywhere; they had special shoes to wear inside their houses, shoes specifically for their bedrooms.

You may also want to check out Mohana's other titles including a writing
guide: SO YOU WANT TO SELL A MILLION COPIES or the hilarious story of
becoming a mother for the first time: MOMMY BUT STILL ME, also only
99CENTS for the new tablet in your life.

Product Details

  • File Size: 375 KB
  • Print Length: 118 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Smashwords (December 27, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005QRPDP4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,140 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant short stories December 19, 2011
By Phoebe
Format:Kindle Edition
The stories in Coloured are instantly absorbing- which is a triumph with short stories where the writer only has a limited number of pages to win you over.
One reason I read is because books give you an insight to a world you do not know, and this is exactly what this collection does with humour and honesty.
In fact, the stories reminded me of Jhumpa Lahiri's short story collection UNACCUSTOMED EARTH, which is one of my favourites.
and as a side note, eBook readers do seem to be made for short stories, the perfect 'dip in, dip out' device!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ten tales of the experiences not only immigrants both men and women, but those of American's who happen to not be *sarcastic mock look of horror* who are not white! The stories within this collection had me smiling, laughing, frustrated, at times incensed.

Having read and been a part of some of Moha Doha's social circles I was already well aware of her background and her style of writing in some form or another and I have read two of her and considered myself prepared for ten amazing literary shorts, I can say without a doubt she caught me way off gaurd.

Some of these tales fit what I had read, such as "Truth" which is a wake up call to a young woman who was raised with big brothers in America and her family, for the most part, is to her American-ized. She goes to University, is a bit snooty, doesn't believe what she is reading about what she perceives is the truth about her families Indian Culture till one family gathering she learns a very hard lesson about truth and just how lucky she is. The style was tight and to the point and brilliantly presented.

"Food", of course I am going to talk about this story. It is a story about attraction, about office relationships, about shame and tastes and it made me angry, hungry for curry and pizza with the works, and wanting to smack an idealistic character of the "office friend" who makes you feel like an idiot despite the fact you are the better employee. Who is popular with the co-workers around the water cooler, who is a friend, but not really a friend, and who has made you feel inferior? Who would have thought the issue of food could do this? Yes, sorry, I gone a bit off-track but as a writer of short stories, and a fan of The Canterbury Tales I am a bit obsessed with the proper use of the idealistic character.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection of stories! December 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
In a slim collection of short stories, the trials and triumphs of life as a South Indian immigrant in the United States are told. A young girl, American educated and Indian born, the only daughter in a family of boys, learns exactly how precious she is to her parents. A young English schooled Indian man learns the stark realities of racism in a Texas bar. A young woman feels so racially intimidated that even warming up her curry in the workplace microwave becomes a daily fear for her. A new bride struggles with the stigma of being childless and the temptation of forbidden American men.

Each story carries its own distinct flavor and protagonist, weaving its prose into your heart without using extreme shock tactics or exploiting easy avenues like shaming white Americans or spitting upon life within a conservative Indian family. Yes racism happens in some of the stories, to varying degrees, sometimes violent but mostly of the cold condescending sort that is quite familiar to anyone of color who has had to endure it in school or at work. (It's a sort of racism that the perpetrators often do not realize they're inflicting, one I am quite familiar with experiencing and actually am quite delighted to see so accurately portrayed in some of these stories.) Yes, also, there are stories portraying an Indian protagonist feeling a level of embarrassment at their own culture, yearning for their families to "be more American" so they would fit in better with their peers, but there is no hint of whining self pity about it. It's part of what makes each of these stories so very readable and approachable. It's possible to sympathize with these characters without feeling put on the spot, or judgmental of them.

I can't say I felt let down by any of these stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich in detail and emotion July 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Coloured and Other Stories is a collection of vivid, emotionally rich, and intricately woven tales about family, romance, and the search for identity. As a South-Asian American, I felt that the stories called out to my own experience. What's good about it though, is that the themes are universal enough to capture the attention and hearts of those who haven't lived the bi-cultural experience.

Be ready for evocative stories that propel you to reflect! I especially loved the imagery and emotion of "Tree" and the unique progression of "Dasi".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reaching for what connects us all September 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Coloured. Mohanalakshmi's characters struggle with hope, fear, and strength to find connection with people across barriers of culture and gender. These are stories about simple things that get at how we all think and feel. I particularly liked the stories Dasi, Baby, and Weeds.

I admire Mohanalakshmi's heart and ambition, and I look forward to reading more of her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startling and Rich Collection September 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I hope you pick up an eBook copy of Coloured & Other Stories soon. The immigrant experience is strong in this collection, and the details that make up the life of these women and men the author chose to shine a spotlight on will make you feel as if you just ate from the most incredible banquet -- you will be satisfied, stunned, and your thirst will be quenched. If you are as big a fan of short fiction as I am, these tales cannot be beat, and will charm and make you feel real emotion in equal measure. I look forward to more from this talented author. I received Coloured & Other Stories as a gift but this in no way took anything away from my subjective and objective state of mind while reading or writing this review.
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More About the Author

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a writer who has lived in Qatar since 2005. She has a PhD from the University of Florida with a focus on gender and postcolonial theory. Her dissertation project was published as Haram in the Harem (Peter Lang, 2009) a literary analysis of the works of three Muslim women authors in India, Algeria, and Pakistan. She is the creator and co-editor of five books in the Qatar Narratives series, as well as the Qatari Voices anthology which features essays by Qataris on modern life in Doha (Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, 2010). Her research has been published in numerous journals and anthologies.

She was the Associate Editor of Vox, a fashion and lifestyle magazine based in Doha and a winner of the She Writes We Love New Novelists competition. She has been a regular contributor for Variety Arabia, AudioFile Magazine, Explore Qatar, Woman Today, The Woman, Writers and Artists Yearbook, QatarClick, Expat Arrivals, Speak Without Interruption and Qatar Explorer. She hosted two seasons of the Cover to Cover book show on Qatar Foundation Radio.

Currently Mohana is working on a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf and a novel based in Qatar. She believes words can help us understand ourselves and others. Catch up on her latest via her blog or follow her on Twitter @moha_doha.

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