The imaginary Indian coastal island of Pi, where Ganesan has set her previous fiction… works beautifully as the setting for this East Asian homage to To the Lighthouse, both the nostalgic recreation of a lost perfect moment and an exploration into Woolf’s “thousand shapes” of love…The novel is masterful at exploring the difficulty of cultural identity and integration. There’s also a bit of magical realism in the shape of a ghost. But ultimately, this is a novel about the many permutations of both love and family… the characters’ genuine charm and the girlish, witty energy of the storytelling are irresistible.
Kirkus, starred review
This sweet, sun-drenched, lovely book is the perfect antidote to a long, gray winter.
Kate Tuttle, The Boston Globe
Beautifully crafted . . . A young woman living on a lush island in the Indian Ocean is torn between modern ways and her elders’ beliefs.
Kristine Huntley, Booklist
Ms. Ganesan is one of several female novelists from India who trace the trajectories of middle-class Indians as they move between their own country and America or Britain. (Others include Jhumpa Lahiri and Sunetra Gupta.) This experience gives the writer and her characters critical distance from both India and the West, and nurtures clear-sightedness and irony, nurtures, in fact, the novel of manners. The considerable appeal of As Sweet as Honey is that East and West, romance and novel, coexist so enticingly.
Claire Hopley, The Washington Times
“Ganesan describes Sonil’s anxieties and ambitions with moving intensity. . . . [She] has created an appealing young heroine whose determination and sensitivity wins us over.”-Edward Hower, New York Times Book Review (1998)
“Characters leap off the pages and into our hearts. . . . Ganesan crafts her work with such a gracefully light touch that readers leave the book with the sense of having just experienced something exquisitely fine.”-Joan Hinkemeyer, Rocky Mountain News (1998)
“Ganesan’s ingenious charms as a social and spiritual observer bejewel the novel. . . . People float in and land fleetingly, like mirages, on the island, which begins to resemble a microcosmic kaleidoscope of the human, the natural, and the magical folded into one-a small, storied panoply of Ganesan’s imagination.”-Kirkus Reviews(1998)
Inheritance is a gracefully wrought novel centering on the emotional awakening of Sonil, a fifteen-year-old girl living with her aunts in India. Overcome by a lingering illness, she travels to the mythic island of Pi to recover under the care of her beloved grandmother. In this lush Arcadian space, boundaries between what is real and what is not diminish, and Sonil begins to discover who she is. Rejected by her emotionally distant mother and searching desperately for any information about her American father, she seeks solace in an affair with an American man twice her age. It is through that relationship of love and loss that she begins to understand and forgive her mother, realizing for the first time what she has inherited and what she must forge for herself. (from Beacon Press)
“A human comedy set against the Hindu cosmology, The Journey manages to be earthy and naïve, droll and sweetly sad, all at the same time.” -Mark Dery, The New York Times (1990)
AVAILABLE AS TRADE PAPERBACK FROM BEACON PRESS AND A RANDOM HOUSE EBOOK
After a decade in a suburban American world of shopping malls and fast-food restaurants, sisters Renu and Manx return to their childhood home, the island of Pi. A bit of India “torn free to float in the Bay of Bengal,” its alien and yet strangely familiar landscape is defined by gardens and hillsides ablaze with surreal foliage, and ceiling fans that circle endlessly in the background. The sisters and their mother have returned because cousin Rajesh, always affectionately known as Renu’s twin, has died. His death and their return mark the beginning of a curious journey, leading by unexpected routes toward revelation.(from Beacon Press)
“Beautifully written. . . . Ganesan has given us a poignant yet vibrant account of a young girl’s search for self within two very different cultures.” –Kirkus Reviews (1990)
“A first novel that is something better than delicate, and something better than wise. Ganesan can write with a lovely balance not common to first novels.” –Los Angeles Times (1990)
“Ms. Ganesan writes nimble prose that promises good things to come.” –The New Yorker (1990)
“In a nation of immigrants, the story of arrival and adjustment is a perennial fictional favorite. Fewer writers address going home again, but Ganesan’s delicately constructed first novel originally published 11 years ago by Knopf and now out of print, but to be reissued (after Inheritance) just in time to take a turn under the Indian fiction spotlight does… Ganesan relates the complex stories of several striking characters and examines many of the ironies of cross-cultural life in the United States and especially back home on Pi. But this complexity comes at a cost. Despite her turmoil, Renu remains obscure, difficult to picture and understand, as do many of the other characters. Readers who need to know a character thoroughly to love a book will find this novel frustrating, but those interested in a subtle sometimes touching, sometimes comedic tale of our nomadic, crossbred lives will be happy it is now available in paperback.”-Publishers Weekly. Reviewed on: 05/14/2001