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The Henna Artist by [Alka Joshi]
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The Henna Artist Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 6,902 ratings

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"Romantic, old-time Rajasthan leaps to life in the skilled hands of Alka Joshi. The Henna Artist brims over with richly drawn customs, locations, and characters. I can hardly wait for Alka Joshi's next masterpiece."
--Sujata Massey, internationally bestselling author of The Satapur Moonstone and The Widows of Malabar Hill

"Rich in detail and bright with tastes and textures, The Henna Artist is a fabulous glimpse into Indian culture of the 1950s."--Bookpage, Starred Review

"Eloquent debut...moving... Joshi masterfully balances a yearning for self-discovery with the need for familial love." -Publishers Weekly

"Vibrant characters, evocative imagery, and sumptuous prose create an unforgetable tale."--Christian Science Monitor

"Joshi has constructed a bewitching glimpse into the past with a tough heroine well worth cheering on."--Booklist

"The Henna Artist is a bold, ambitious, beautifully written novel about India in the decade after independence, and about class, identity, love and deceit. The broad cast of characters will etchthemselves into your psyche." --Tom Barbash, author of Stay Up With Me

"Fantastic, so evocative and beautiful and full of life and light.... The Henna Artist is detailed and sumptuous, vivid in its characters and deeply satisfying in its storytelling."--Leah Franqui, author of America for Beginners

"Alka Joshi's superb first novel is unforgettable.... Read this book slowly and savor it: Every page is rich with intricate pleasures for both the mind and the heart."--Anita Amirrezvani, author of The Blood of Flowers

"Like a brilliant, magical kaleidoscope, bursting with color, The Henna Artist kept me riveted from start to finish."--Lauren Belfer, NYT bestselling author of After the Fire and City of Light

"Everything a great novel needs is here: The protagonist balancing impossible burdens with her bountiful talents; the many other characters, each so colorful and complex, each necessary to the intricate and delicate plot, Such a satisfying novel!"--Sandra Scofield, author of The Last Draft

"Alka Joshi's debut novel is a richly drawn design of love and the many hungers that drive human beings...a lush, gorgeous journey that any reader will be sorry to see end."--Erin McGraw, author of The Good Life and The Seamstress of Hollywood

"The Henna Artist is a delicious, old-fashioned tale about timeless heartaches. There's something elemental and mythic about Lakshmi and her knowledge of spices, roots, oils, and barks that drew me into the kind of world I gladly lived in when reading fairy tales as a child, a place inhabited by powerful queens, talking birds, magical drinks, orphans, sad princesses, clever servants, and dangerous poisons. I'm in awe of Joshi's storytelling and a little jealous of the character who winds up with the talking bird. "Namaste!" as he says. "Bonjour! Welcome!"---Laura McNeal, author of The Practice House --This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Alka Joshi was born in India and raised in the U.S. since the age of nine. She has a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from California College of Arts. At age 62, Joshi released her debut novel, The Henna Artist, which immediately became a NYT bestseller, a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick, was Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and is being developed for a TV series. The sequel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, premieres June 2021. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B0845LTQCB
  • Publisher : HQ Fiction (1 April 2020)
  • Language : English
  • File size : 624 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 368 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,902 ratings
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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
6,902 global ratings
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Top reviews from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 28 August 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Faery Jess
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely stunning debut
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 May 2020
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Angela Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 May 2020
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2 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is a Book Full of Beauty
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 August 2020
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Debut
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 July 2020
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Kavitha Sharma
5.0 out of 5 stars Gem! Gem!
Reviewed in India on 9 August 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gem! Gem!
Reviewed in India on 9 August 2020
I breathed deeply. As if I could already smell the bracing air of the blue himalayan mountains'

- Lakshmi from 'The Henna Artist'

In the parallel universe, there are two souls longing for compassion and end up together in 'The Henna Artist' by Alka Joshi.

The colonialists left India in 1947 leaving the Indians baffled and confused about their culture and norms. We had rigorous rules in our culture and on the other hand western culture pampered us without any constraints. Post colonial peroid is remarkable because it enumerates the dispositions of Indians who lived in rigorous rules and western thoughts. The caste system and male chauvinism was brawny in post colonial India and threatened the women and her reputation.

We meet our protagonist Lakshmi as a busy henna artist, who does henna for upper class women. She veils her child marriage and the dark past in from the everyone.

As an independent woman Lakshmi manages to live without ruining her reputation in the pink city Jaipur. Her past knocks her door when her husband Hari and her little sister Radha turn up.

Lakshmi, who is a victim of domestic abuse, carefully pampers her sister and teaches her about the upper class ethics. On the contrary, Radha, a delusional thirteen years old girl who is not aware of the real world and its cruel treatment imagines her life as a fairytale by imbibing English novels and western writers' imagination.

In the setting of post colonial period, Alka Joshi has weaved the characters vividly in a beautiful storyline.

This is definitely not an exaggeration, I literally cried after reading this book. The impacts of domestic violence and the struggles of women to live independently amidst the parochial minds wrecked my heart into pieces. The writing style is spectacular with rich description.

Two years ago,I was blown away after reading an exquisite Indian novel 'Glass Palace' by Amitav Ghosh. Ever since 'Glass Palace', 'The Henna Artist' is the another exquisite and breath taking Indian book I read.

The refined prose and imagery startled me. This brilliant novel is in my highly recommended list now.

I am SCREAMING : C'mon, don't procrastinate pick it up soon!
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