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Just the Thing: Books to go with those luxury goodsNovember 30, 2018Because it's haute to be well-read, your luxury gift will pair elegantly with our two picks for both the arty giftee and the loved one who pronounces it "dahling."Peacock in the Snow by Anubha Mehta (Inanna Publications)What’s more luxurious than moving into a mansion? The protagonist of Anubha Mehta’s debut novel Peacock in the Snow does just that when she leaves behind a humble life to marry her high-school sweetheart, a man who happens to come from a wealthy established Indian family. The lavish setting will put your fancy giftee in a decadent mood before whisking them into a powerful, genre-bending thriller of a story (featuring ghosts!) that speaks to privilege, the immigrant experience, cultural traditions, and womanhood. And if the thrills prove a little too exciting, your extravagant gift will be the perfect treat to console.All Lit Up is managed by The Literary Press Group, an association of 60 independently-owned and -operated Canadian literary publishers.Read in full here: https://alllitup.ca/Blog/2018/Just-the-Thing-Books-to-go-with-those-luxury-goods?fbclid=IwAR0C0yWIRFWYbagCGy6XyUuls-r4AXqJVd1loQ0Z_cFWO8JOOhFEym3GbGM
Anubha Mehta's debut novel Peacock in the Snow (Inanna Publications) flips the script on most contemporary immigrant narratives: her protagonist family is not fleeing persecution or poverty, but redefining themselves in Canada all the same after having lost the privileges they enjoyed in their home country. As main character Maya grows out of her life's advantages, she begins to experience real freedom and happiness.Why you need to read this now:Peacock in the Snow lifts the veil on immigrant life in contemporary Canada with a difference. The novel evokes today’s changing Canadian cultural landscape to bear witness to a new generation of newcomers from non-Western societies who are educated, affluent, and less tolerant of the country’s structural challenges and tendency to marginalize and stereotype new immigrants. In 2016-2017, 33% of the Canadian population was South Asian, with a whopping 400,000 settling each year in the greater Toronto area. This book is about the needs and aspirations of one such family.Peacock in the Snow looks with fresh eyes on an immigrant family that doesn’t need Canada as a new home for any economic, social or political reason, or due to hardship, fleeing war, poverty, or persecution. The trade-offs for this family are painful: relegating their social status to a relatively more equalizing society, losing their original homeland’s privileges and connections.Reworking the concept of privilege is a powerful theme in Peacock in the Snow, mirroring the author’s journey from east to west. Privilege can only be decolonized when abstracted from wealth, gender, and class and its associated subjugations. The protagonist Maya’s courage and peace came, not from her advantageous social placement but, rather, from her renunciation of it. Until Maya steps away from her privilege, she is unable to find freedom and happiness. She is tired of handed-down definitions of womanhood and is compelled to be assertive in unprecedented ways, ways that have not been taught. Her inadequacies are no longer seen as weaknesses but an opportunity to grow, and her fear is accompanied with courage to risk everything for her conviction. Her hope is for a better tomorrow while validating similar struggles that people face in today’s conflicted world of diverse beliefs, ethnicities, cultures, and expectations.Peacock in the Snow also confronts the "other side" of issues and -isms. When women become gatekeepers of patriarchy, whether benevolently or with hostility, or when sons are affected by male expectations and constructions of masculinity and are trapped within sexism’s expectations to live, act, or behave in pre-ordained ways, they too sacrifice their dreams.The book also appeals to the other side of the globe, to satisfy curiosities about Canada and what it looks like from the eyes of a new family’s arrival – new cultures and landscapes, starkness and beauty, and experiences of hardship and freedom.And, of course, for those who like a little mystery, magic, and intrigue in their CanLit mix, Peacock in the Snow is jam-packed with dark family secrets, a brutal ancestral murder, and the protagonists’ relentless pursuit by malicious spirits.Peacock in the Snow is so much more than an examination of gender, class, and the lives of immigrants; the novel is, as David Siegel suggests, "a thrilling page-turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat." It is "a highly entertaining novel that also says much about contemporary Canadian society."X plus Y:Peacock in the Snow evokes the sensitive treatment of the clash between family and cultural tradition in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth, set against the ominous spectre of destiny that manifests in Janine Chang’s Three Souls.
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Our thanks to Anubha Mehta for giving us this deep look at her new novel, and to Renee at Inanna for making the connection. You can order Peacock in the Snow from All Lit Up now.All Lit Up is managed by The Literary Press Group, an association of 60 independently-owned and -operated Canadian literary publishers. Read the full Review here: https://alllitup.ca/Blog/2018/First-Fiction-Friday-Peacock-in-the-Snow
CONGRATULATIONS ANUBHA !!What a huge accomplishment. I did not respond right away - I wanted to let it simmer in my head for a bit.The novel does have an epic sweep spanning generations, countries and cultures.The story line is very compelling with interesting characters from various walks of life. Along with Maya, the reader would get exposed to the pain of partition, workplace politics, mystic healing, and so on.The setting of the novel (India and Canada) makes it very personal and touches upon the universal immigrant experience that we can all relate to.Maya comes across as a strong yet sensitive person open to new experiences and making the most of what life has to offer. While she is committed to her familial relationships, she is also open to the possibility of exploring new connections. There are many characters that Maya interacts with - I wonder if there are one or two minor characters that you are partial to. Also, I wonder how big a role the sceondary characters (Maya's immediate family) play in the plot and their character development.I suppose I will have to finish the book to find out :)Once again, Congratulations
What a special book. Took a long haul flight and carried my copy of “Peacock in the snow” as my read. I rarely get time to read but this book had intrigued me enough to pick up a copy. And intriguing it indeed is. What a story. Romance, love, mystery, suspense, paranormal all weaves into one book which is so hard to put down. I infact read 80 percent of the book on my flight and read the rest the every first evening after sleeping off for a few hours. You live through Maya and feel her pain, love, helplessness and fear. Gayatri is so intriguing as a personality. You feel the ache between her and Sachin and what a phenomenal end.This book grips you from the word go and does not let you go till the end. The struggles of new immigrants so well etched is something that we all can relate to. I absolutely loved the simplistic way of expression that Anubha has used which immediately connects you to the book. Loved reading it. Highly recommend it. Thanks Anubha for this wonderful experience and more power to you and your writing.
"Peacock in the Snow" is a lovely title that evokes memories of the first time I moved to Canada, just like the protagonist of Anubha's story. Living Maya's experience through her book was a fascinating journey...at times mysterious, at times romantic and at times agitating. I finished the book in one weekend - it is seriously un-putdownable.Anubha, you must be a poet at heart. The language and style is poetic although the book is a work of prose.Some elements of the story cross borders and eras, and I found this to be the most enchanting aspect of how you have woven Maya's varied experiences together. Doves from the past, making an appearance at different places and in different lifetimes reminded me of a personal experience - as a child I spent my summers at my grandparents' house in Jaipur. There were tree lined streets where they lived with blazing red Gulmohars planted on one side and dreamy yellow Amaltaash on the other. I was totally mesmerized by the yellow weeping willow type flower bunches of the Amaltaash and imagined that I will someday have one such tree wherever I live. Years passed and I moved to Canada... and while I have never seen Amaltaash here, my street adorned with yellow-golden maple trees looks exactly the same in autumn. I'm having the same experience that I sought but in a different country, time and format. The truest desires of our hearts always find us...in life, just as in your book.Keep dreaming, keep writing.
Wow, I am sooo proud of Anubha; when we worked together at the Region of Peel, she would always say “I’m going to write one day”When I heard about her book launch, I couldn’t stop beaming; she did it!! My friend a writer and a damn good one too👌A lovely intriguing story, Peacock in the Snow, it is hard to put down as the anxiety is always there for what next!A readers delight and I can assure you it’s worth it...Have an amazing dayRita Sharma🙂Life is short; make it musical🎶
I have met Anubha Mehta once and I felt a sudden sympathy towards this heart warming young lady. found her warmth also in her novel Peacock In The Snow. First I loved the name of the book and cover. Very well thought. It was a such grıpping novel that I read it in two days. What attracted me the most was her bringing to attention so many important issues one of which is the problems of being a young, modern woman in Oriental countries. I could identify myself with main character Maya in the first part which is taking place in India because I come from Turkey where similar problems can be still seen. Immigrants problems when arriving to a new country is also one of main issues of the book. But in general difficulties of being a woman in this world is also underlined between there lines. She shortly mentioned indigenous people also, which is another important issue. Each issue is so important in itself that each could be taken apart and written separately. So for me it was like three books in one. I also liked the background descriptions as well and thought this book could filmed. A very good start Anubha! Waiting for your next one.
A riveting tale about the vagaries of fate that masterfully weaves between generations and continents. A wonderfully lyrical composition that speaks to the courage to cross boundaries and to adapt to dramatic shifts in fortune, family and self. Ultimately, a novel that takes the reader on an enthralling ride and towards a satisfyingly unpredictable finale!
I just now completed reading “Peacock in the Snow”..WOW....WOW...AND WOW... I was hooked within the first chapter and kept going for two days until I finished it, what a wonderful story. I SO ENJOYED ITI love the mixture of history, family responsibilities, love and suspense. The story kept me captivated, hated to close it and I looked forward to reopen it.I would live to read a sequelExcellent Anubha.
What a combination of thrill, romance and suspense . I read this book while travelling to India. Usually I sleep during my flight bur this book didn't let me sleep. My heart was beating fast to know what will happen next. Very well described the struggle of an immigrant who comes as a peacock to a total different country and dances in the snow . I would highly recommend to read this book. Really a master piece this book Anubha and looking forward to another one.