Tara, a single Indian woman in her mid-thirties travels to America to look after her teenage niece while her sister Kamala is dealing with her autistic son’s treatment and issues at school. But theirs is just one story of many. Woven expertly together, The Americans tells the stories of eleven people whose lives span the country from Louisville to Chicago to Los Angeles to Portland, to Boston. And all of their stories connect back to Tara. These are people who have come to the United States with the hope of a better life, and find out what it means to have arrived here and not fit in. For fans of Jhumpa Lhairi’s Interpreter of Maladies and Dinaw Mengestu’s The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, The Americans is an eloquent and heart-warming debut from an exciting new voice that brings up questions of race, ethnicity and point of origin, and explores the puzzles of identity, place and human connection.
Chitra Viraraghavan was born in Chennai, India, and is the great granddaughter of the second President of India. She has been an editor at Oxford University Press India, and has taught freshman English at Tufts University in Boston.