In The Juvenile Immigrant, her sparkling debut collection of short fiction, Namrata Verghese explores the disorders and triumphs of Indian immigrants, especially Malayalees, in America.
At an airport, a mother on her way home to India fears the impact of racial profiling on her young daughter. But after emerging unscathed from the security booth, her daughter vanishes into thin air. Who will she turn to for help?
Legally dependent on her husband ’s H1-B work visa for her continued stay in the US, Susan wakes up every morning fearing he is dead. When Ajay, an old flame from school, shows up on Facebook with his Mercedes and green card, Susan wonders what could have been.
Back in his village for a few days to meet with a prospective bride, a man is forced to confront uncomfortable memories from his childhood. Will he agree to the arranged marriage, or does he long for something more?
These, among sixteen other stories in this book, brilliantly evoke interior dramas of dislocation, racism, mental illness, marriage and infidelity with surprising twists of humour, pathos and pessimism. Marked by keen psychological insight and visceral prose, they speak urgently to our contemporary moment.