Year Of The Tiger
New York in the 1990s is rich, unmolested, full of hubris and joy. Zara Hussain – young, successful Wall Street trader – lives in the East Village with her twin Kabir, a free spirit and musician, and their older sister Salma, a scientist who is looking for an acceptable husband. Their best friend Sam helps them chase their extraordinary dreams when he’s not indulging his own passion for tigers. The story begins with a crisis in Immigration at JFK Airport, which results in Zara vowing to stay in the US and Kabir deciding to return to India.
As the year draws to a close, the siblings’ lives have turned upside down. Zara is involved in a snowballing financial scandal on Wall Street; Kabir is faced with the unfamiliar joys of responsibility; and Salma has found a possible and dangerous love. Along the way we meet a motley bunch – Benny, a mentally ill man desperately searching for beauty; Mildred, one of Kabir’s many lovers; Rick, the Hussains’ neighbour who wants to sail the seven seas; and the moon as it makes sudden appearances.
In elegant prose and vivid imagery, Sohaila Abdulali brings to life the rich, vibrant landscape of New York before 9/11. (Penguin India, 2010)
Year Of The Tiger is available here.
RangBibi And Langra series
The Ford Foundation funded this project, involving researching, writing, illustrating, designing, producing and distributing three books for children and neo-literate adults: A Jungle Adventure, A Basti Adventure, and A Desert Adventure. Illustrated by Shachi Kale.
The books touch on issues such as tribal displacement, sexual abuse and access to health care. They involve an old woman, RangBibi, and a crippled monkey named Langra. The books are set in the desert, the forest and an urban slum. Each book involves a child or children in a crisis, and the stories show the children solving their problems with RangBibi's magical help.
These books are available in English, Hindi, Marathi and Tamil. For more information, contact Sohaila.
The Madwoman Of Jogare
Set in a Maharashtra village, the novel pits conservationists and land developers against each other, while the monsoon comes and goes, and aboriginal villagers watch their way of life mutate into a twenty-first century hodgepodge.
The Madwoman was internationally reviewed. It was on bestseller lists in India for months. It was short-listed for the Crossword Book Award. It was widely acclaimed. It has been required reading for college students studying postcolonial literature and South Asian literature at Clark University in Massachusetts, Cornell University, and several other US universities. Sohaila has been a visiting lecturer at Clark, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Northwestern University in Chicago. (HarperCollins India, 1998)