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The Space Between Us Paperback – February 6, 2007
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When we first meet Bhima, she is sharing a thin mattress with Maya, the granddaughter upon whom high hopes and dreams were placed, only to be shattered by an unexpected pregnancy and its disastrous consequences. As time goes on, we learn that Sera and her family have used their power and money time and time again to influence the lives of Bhima and Maya, from caring for Bhima's estranged husband after a workplace accident, to providing the funds for Maya's college education. We also learn that Sera's seemingly privileged life is not as it appears; after enduring years of cruelty under her mother-in-law's roof, she faced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband, pain that only Bhima could see and alleviate. Yet through the triumphs and tragedies, Sera and Bhima always shared a bond that transcended class and race; a bond shared by two women whose fate always seemed to rest in the hands of others, just outside their control.
Told in a series of flashbacks and present day encounters, The Space Between Us gains strength from both plot and prose. A beautiful tale of tragedy and hope, Umrigar's second novel is sure to linger in readers' minds. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
The Space Between Us was a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins award, while her memoir was a finalist for the Society of Midland Authors award. If Today Be Sweet was a Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selection, while her other books have been Community Reads selections. Thrity is the winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, a Lambda Literary award and the Seth Rosenberg prize.
Thrity was born in Bombay, India and came to the U.S. when she was 21. As a Parsi child attending a Catholic school in a predominantly Hindu country, she had the kind of schizophrenic and cosmopolitan childhood that has served her well in her life as a writer. Accused by teachers and parents alike of being a daydreaming, head-in-the-clouds child, she grew up lost in the fictional worlds created by Steinbeck, Hemingway, Woolf and Faulkner. She would emerge long enough from these books to create her own fictional and poetic worlds. Encouraged by her practical-minded parents to get an undergraduate degree in business, Thrity survived business school by creating a drama club and writing, directing and acting in plays. Her first short stories, essays and poems were published in national magazines and newspapers in India at age fifteen.
After earning a M.A. in journalism in the U.S., Thrity worked for several years as an award-winning reporter, columnist and magazine writer. She also earned a Ph.D. in English. In 1999, Thrity won a one-year Nieman Fellowship to Harvard University, which is given to mid-career journalists.
While at Harvard, Thrity wrote her first novel, Bombay Time. In 2002 she accepted a teaching position at Case Western Reserve University, where she is now the Armington Professor of English. She also does occasional freelance pieces for national publications and has written for the Washington Post and the Boston Globe's book pages.
Thrity is active on the national lecture circuit and has spoken at book festivals such as the L.A. Festival of Books, the Tuscon Book Festival and the Miami Book Fair International; at universities such as MIT, Harvard University, and Spelman College; and at literary societies, civic and business organizations and public libraries all across the country.
Read more at www.umrigar.com or go to Thrity's Author page on Facebook.
Top Customer Reviews
Sera Dubash is a wealthy educated Parsi, who lives a privileged upper-class life in Bombay. Her married life fraught with violence and brutality, she ached for a marriage that was different from all the "dead sea of marriages she saw all around her," a marriage begun with such high hopes that fizzled out. Now she is widowed and lives happily with her daughter and son-in-law, looking forward to the birth of her first grandchild.
Bhima is poor and illiterate, forced to eek out an existence on the edges of Bombay, enduring the stench and fifth, the open drains with their dank pungent smell, the dark rows of slanting hutments, the gaunt and open-mouthed men. Bhima has worked for years as Sera's domestic housekeeper, and has built up a trustworthy relationship with her employer's family; Sera's the only person who treats her like a human being, has been steadfast and true to her, and never despised her for being ignorant, or illiterate or weak. Sera even promises to financially help Bhima's granddaughter Maya go to college. But no one - least of all Bhima - expects the seventeen-year-old Maya to get pregnant.Read more ›
The novel is driven by the unfortunate pregnancy of Bhima's granddaughter, Maya, which thwarts the college education both Bhima and Sera want for her. After many a subplot and flashback develops the history of the protagonists, there is a sudden revelation that upsets everything. Up to this point there is little to criticize.
The short denouement following the revelation is more problematical. While fitting with the class divisions illuminated throughout the novel, it is harder to reconcile with the personalities of the protagonists created by the author. I was left at the end feeling that the last few pages didn't quite ring true.
I don't want to spoil the story by discussing more detail because I do think this book is well worth reading. Take the opportunity and form your own opinion about the ending.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful book with interesting characters and a detailed setting. The relationship between the two women is complex and telling as it examines the interaction of the two... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Claudia Remington
Great character development and a look into another culture
and the hardships and happiness we all endure. Recommend this highly.
This was a hard read. The story was depressing. None of the characters were particularly likable or sympathetic. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary Jo smith
Really draws you in. The whole Maya situation was kind of obvious but still well written. Definitely worth a read.Published 1 month ago by Just a Girl
At over 300 pages, it's not something you can read in just one sitting, but it's a very gripping story until the last 30-40 pages. Read morePublished 1 month ago by TKSJUS
This was a tender story about the relationship of two Indian women. One was of upper class and the other her maid. Read morePublished 2 months ago by St. Clair Lady
Wonderful story. Extremely well written. Very thought provoking.Published 2 months ago by sharon lowery