Yoga Hotel: Stories

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Harper Collins, Apr 21, 2009 - Fiction - 304 pages
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In the 1970s, Maura Moynihan moved to New Delhi with her mother and father, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who at the time was U.S. ambassador to India. She wasfascinated by the country's contradictions: ancient religions amid urban chaos, the staggering disparity between rich and poor, and Indian familial tradition and the lure of Western novelty.

From three decades of deeply sympathetic observation came the inspiration for these stories, in which the characters' beliefs are challenged as they interact with those outside their culture. British and American expatriates mingle with Indian friends, colleagues, and servants, and the stories follow the change, or failure to change, that results. Hari, a young Indian servant, hopes for his amiable British boss's help in escaping a prearranged wedding. An American embassy worker named Melanie becomes disillusioned when her married lover uses her to get a visa. At a Himalayan retreat, a wealthy group gathers to seek spiritual enlightenment, but their altruism is tested when they are asked to buy dowries for a poor Indian family.

Through witty dialogue and engaging scenes, Moynihan examines how both easterners and westerners struggle for dignity. Replete with humor and poignancy, Yoga Hotel is a stunning literary debut from a writer who understands the complexity and universality of human hopes, fears, and desires.


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Page 113 - If there's anything else I can do for you, please let me know.
Page 81 - She was anxious whenever the subject of dieting came up, as she had put on quite a bit of weight since her marriage.
Page x - Fled is that music: — do I wake or sleep? John Keats I...
Page 27 - Hari finished the dishes and was about to go to his room when he heard a car door slam. Celeste opened the kitchen door. "Hi, Hari. Got any brandy?
Page 56 - He realized that he had no idea where he was going and how he would live.

About the author (2009)

Maura Moynihan has worked for many years as a refugee consultant in India and Nepal, inspired in part by her childhood residence in Asia as the daughter of a U.S. ambassador. Andy Warhol launched her musical career and placed her on the coveted cover of Interview magazine. Her first collection of fiction, Yoga Hotel, was a Washington Post bestseller. This is her first novel. She lives in New York City.

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