Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena--a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man--Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one's own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita's own past. While Meena's fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.
In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.
"Honor is an utterly engrossing novel about two very different women whose lives converge after an unspeakable act of violence in India. With insight and compassion, Thrity Umrigar writes masterfully about the complexities of hatred and love, estrangement and belonging, oppression and privilege, about holding on and letting go. A powerful, important, unforgettable book." --Cheryl Strayed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wild
"Honor is a novel of profound depths--cultural, personal, romantic, spiritual. It's also a story of tremendous grace, both in the understanding it shows its characters and in the ways they navigate a brutal but stunning life." --Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Great Believers
"Propulsive . . . Umrigar offers readers a broad understanding of the complicated issues at play in contemporary India." --Publishers Weekly
"Full-bodied and insightful, Honor is both a page-turning account of a horrific family drama and a meditation on the complexities of love--both personal and national." --Shelf Awareness
About our Speakers
Thrity Umrigar is the bestselling author of eight novels, including The Space Between Us, which was a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, as well as a memoir and three picture books. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in more than fifteen countries. She is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award and a Seth Rosenberg Award and is Distinguished Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. A recipient of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard, she has contributed to the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the New York Times and Huffington Post.
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great Believers, The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for Wartime. The Great Believers was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and received the ALA Carnegie Medal and the LA Times Book Prize, among other honors. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.
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