Lucky Girls

by Nell Freudenberger

Short stories featuring American women, their families and lives in India and South East Asia. The closer they are to Asia the more uncertain become their relationships with people and places, the more vivid are the descriptions and the more you want to know how they will end up.


The Saturday before I went home, Vivian, my father and I took a walk in the old part of the city. We had to get there by auto rickshaw, and Vivian and I were worried that the bumps and turns would scare my father. She kept one hand on his knee the whole time, something that seemed to please him. He would smile and say, 'That's fine,' each time he noticed it. The driver thought we were tourists and let us off at the Jama Masjid.

We went round the back of the mosque, past the back of the old Muslim tailors, to the main street of the bazaar, where Vivian browsed through the stalls, examining porcelain doorknobs arranged by size in cardboard cartons, allowing perfumes to be brought out and opened for her, and finally stopping at a stall that sold fruit and nuts, where she bought a kilo of yellow longans.


Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jabhvala

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