The Sino-Indian war has ended. The Chinese community in Calcutta (Kolkata), feeling threatened and facing discrimination, begins to look for ways to emigrate. By the seventies they are flocking to Canada legally or otherwise. Wen-Lung, a young man in his twenties, goes away on a tourist visa to Toronto where he marries Megan, a white Canadian woman, in order to obtain his legal papers. He leaves behind his pregnant wife, Maylei and a two-year old son. When Maylei arrives in Toronto a few years later, the union is far from ideal because Wen-Lung is still attached to Megan. To complicate matters further, Maylei meets her former lover Keith, an Anglo-Indian. When Maylei returns to India to see her aging parents, she finds herself caught in the midst of a race riot.
A touching story of modern exile and immigration, of the pain of leaving and the joy of freedom, set in Tangra, the leather district of Calcutta, and in Toronto’s neighbourhoods.
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Following the India-China war of 1962, the Chinese Indians (the Hakka), facing suspicion and hostility, begin to emigrate. Twenty-year-old Jillian Wu leaves Calcutta to marry a man sh has never met–Peter Chou, also a Hakka–with much anticipation, only to discover that he is gay. Forced by her husband to keep up the charade of a “normal” marriage, and pressured by her in-laws to have a child, she leaves her home and falls in love. Returning to Calcutta to seek approval to marry a fankwei (a white man), she is disowned by her father. In the crisis that ensues, she learns the truth about a hauntng episode from her youth, the death of her sister Lee-Lan, who had a non-Chinese Indian boyfriend. A moving story with political overtones, set during a period of changing times and changing values.
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“I really enjoyed the fullness and lushness of the writing. Even when description is sparse, the minimalist writing still paints a vivid picture. The emotional heft of Jillian’s confusion, her adjustments, her courage and fear is borne out fantastically.”?Galactic Tides
“Picture Bride is both surprising and thrilling. It will have you gasping at injustice and rooting for the protagonist to succeed. Picture Bride is full of the unexpected. With its twists and turns it will catch you off guard and leave you pleasantly surprised. It is a whirlwind of a story that captures the kindness and support of friendship, the rewards of hard work, and the positivity that arises out of hope.”?First Fiction Fridaysby