Karma and Other Stories

Karma and Other Stories

by Rishi Reddi


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In this sparkling collection, award-winning writer Rishi Reddi weaves a multigenerational tapestry of interconnected lives, depicting members of an Indian American community struggling to balance the demands of tradition with the allure of Western life.

In "Lord Krishna," a teenager is offended when his evangelical history teacher likens the Hindu deity to Satan, but ultimately forgives the teacher against his father's wishes. In the title story, "Karma," an unemployed professor rescues birds in downtown Boston after his wealthy brother kicks him out of his home. In "Justice Shiva Ram Murthy," which appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2005, an irascible retired judge reconnects with a childhood friend while adjusting to a new life with his daughter and her American husband. In "Devadasi," a beautiful young woman raised in the United States travels back to India and challenges the sexual confines of her culture. And in "Bangles," a widow decides to return to her native village to flee her son's off-putting American ways.

Set mostly in the Boston area, with side trips to an isolated immigrant community in Wichita, Kansas, and the characters' hometown of Hyderabad, India, Karma and Other Stories introduces a luminous new voice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060898823
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/27/2007
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 428,563
Product dimensions: 8.04(w) x 5.44(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Rishi Reddi is the author of the collection Karma and Other Stories, which received the 2008 L. L. Winship /PEN New England Award for fiction. Her work appears in Best American Short Stories 2005, has been broadcast on National Public Radio, and was selected as Boston’s One City One Story read in 2013. She is also a recipient of fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the U.S. Department of State. She was born in Hyderabad, India, and grew up in Great Britain and the United States. She is a practicing environmental attorney.

Table of Contents

Justice Shiva Ram Murthy     1
Lakshmi and the Librarian     29
The Validity of Love     65
Bangles     95
Karma     127
Devadasi     157
Lord Krishna     187
Acknowledgments     215

What People are Saying About This

Binnie Kirshenbaum

“Reddi’s characters are complicated people...and, as are the stories they inhabit, memorable and very worthy of our attention. Exquisite.”

Judith Guest

“Rishi Reddi has written a unique and beautiful book with the power to both entertain and educate.”

Kiran Desai

“Sad, sweet, tender—a truly lovely book.”

Customer Reviews

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Karma and Other Stories 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rishi Reddi presents a superb collection of stories that aim to reflect the experience of the modern-day Indian in New England. I picked up this book because I took a class on multicultural women's lit in college and we read a few Indian authors, all of whom I enjoyed. When I saw that this was a new collection of Indian fiction, I immediately wanted to read it. I found the stories, though focused on a particular immigrant community, share an experience of feeling out of place in society (and even family) that anyone could relate to. The characters are beautifully written, and I couldn't help but be caught up in their stories. I felt invested in them, and really, isn't that the point of a good book? The characters are so different from each other, with ages ranging from children to the elderly, creating a variety of viewpoints. I highly recommend Reddi's collection of stories to those who enjoy everyday people and the problems that cultural differences can bring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
writeyourlife144 More than 1 year ago
Reddi's characters are unforgettable and vivid, as are their stories. She paints a true and beautiful portrait of Indian culture, and brings to light the struggles which immigrants of any country face as they attempt to retain their culture and its dignity. The stories stay with the reader long after they have been set aside despite their shortness of length. It is a book which is irrevocably important and moving.