Fiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Meena Kaul is riding high in her position as director of Behera House, a safe haven in India for women who have survived domestic violence. But when the stock market crashes, Behera House loses its funding to expand. The right-wing Hindu Democratic Party (HDP), seeing an opportunity to win women's votes before a national election, steps in with a multimillion-dollar grant. While Meena is reluctant to accept the offer, it is the only way for the project to proceed. Her worst fears come to pass when the HDP wins the election and begins to chip away at a hundred years of progress on women's rights. Meanwhile, Simon Bliss, America's foremost "green" architect, who had been commissioned to design the new facility, falls for the alluring Meena and is drawn into the perilous world of Indian politics. In his attempt to loosen the HDP's grip on Meena and win her affection, Simon takes on reactionary politicians, shady priests, and crooked businessmen. In the process, he comes face to face with disturbing truths about his past, while Meena finds herself trapped in ways she never could have expected.
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Ken Langer's love of India began in 1971, when he spent an academic year in Varanasi. He earned his PhD in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard University in 1978 and spent two years in Pune as a postdoctoral Fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies. After leaving Sanskrit studies, Ken served as Special Assistant to the Dean of Harvard University, Vice President of Brandeis University, and consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Agency for International Development. In 2002, he founded EMSI, an international green building consulting company, with projects in the U.S., the Middle East, and Asia. His short stories, essays, book reviews, and academic articles have appeared in the Harvard Review, The Satirist, The Woven Tale, the Vineyard Gazette, Taj Mahal Review, and the Journal of the American Oriental Society.Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA