Bombay Blues

Tanuja Desai Hidier. . Scholastic/Push, $18.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-545-38478-0
Dimple Lala, the Indian-American shutterbug whose teenage identity crisis and romance with the deejay Karsh were chronicled in Born Confused (2002), returns in this lovingly detailed homage to Bombay. As Dimple and Karsh arrive in India—she for her cousin Sangita's wedding, he to find closure after the death of his father and to break into the local club scene—they become increasingly estranged. Hidier's eye for awkward moments of cultural collision remains strong, as demonstrated in the cringe-inducing scene when the expatriate Karsh attempts to play traditional Punjabi music at a hip club more interested in electronica. When Karsh pushes Dimple away, seeking consolation in a religious sect, Dimple has a fling with a fellow photographer. Meanwhile, her soon-to-be-married cousin is disappearing at odd hours, and Sangita's lesbian sister, Kavita, plans to come out to the family. Once again, Hidier delivers an immersive blend of introspection, external drama, and lyricism, though the densely allusive prose ("my avast went ahoy. I gave my family the slip, took that last ship, akinship to Chuim Village. Left the banks of sense for the undercurrent") may leave some readers in the dust. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/04/2014
Release date: 08/26/2014
Genre: Children's
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