Seeking Fortune Elsewhere: Stories

Highbridge Audio Jul. 2023. 6:15 hrs. ISBN 9781696611398. $15.99. F
What does it mean to leave a familiar life for a new and uncertain future? And what happens when that life doesn’t turn out as expected? Exploring the lives of South Indian immigrants and their families, O. Henry Prize winner Bhanoo’s debut short story collection begs the answers to these questions as it takes readers from Washington State to Pittsburgh to Tamil Nadu. In “Malliga Homes,” a widow reckons with the death of a fellow resident in her retirement home while awaiting a visit from her only child, who lives in the United States. “A Life in America” follows a college professor being investigated for taking advantage of his Indian graduate students. In “Buddymoon,” a divorced woman attends the wedding of her estranged daughter and wonders what was lost—for both her and her daughters—when she chose a different path following her divorce. Narrator Soneela Nankani provides an expressive performance, capturing the wit, spirit, and grit of women carving out new lives for themselves.
VERDICT These complicated, layered stories, narrated with heart and empathy, lay bare the challenges of starting life anew. Listeners will look forward to more from the talented Bhanoo.
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