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The Henna Artist Paperback – 7 July 2021

4.5 out of 5 stars 6,902 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher : HQ Fiction US (7 July 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1867231921
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1867231929
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,902 ratings

Product description

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 and runs an advertising and marketing agency. She has lived in France and Italy and currently lives in Pacific Grove, California, with her husband. The Henna Artist is her first novel.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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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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18 people found this helpful
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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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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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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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