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In Beautiful Disguises

In Beautiful Disguises

(2000)
A novel by

 
In Beautiful Disguises is the debut novel by Rajeev Balasubramanyam, who was born in 1974 in Lancashire but sets his charming and often very funny story in a rural village in Southern India. At first sight it seems the increasingly common tale of a rebellious young woman refusing to accept family traditions when the time comes for her to be married. Yet Balasubramanyam's witty and frank account of the heroine's escape from convention is surprisingly refreshing. The narrator knows at an early age that she is different from her silent mother, her bullying father and her compliant sister. Her only kinship is with her elder brother Ravi, an office clerk with a "bananaesque nose" who takes his frustration out on her as a way of showing familiarity. Consequently, like any outsider graced with a lively imagination, the heroine hides out in the Magick Movie House each day and dreams of becoming Holly Golightly.

Pressure mounts when her sister is forced to wed a "transatlantic demi-god" and she confesses to his grandfather that she has no intention of marrying. He advises that every actress needs a passion for cinema, "Experience of Life" and a means to acquire food, clothing and shelter--"milk, cotton, bricks". She resolves to run away and, aided by the grandfather, finds herself as a maid to a white woman who resembles "some kind of pubescent parakeet" in the city in the north, where the "air had a sootiness to it; it smelt of petrol and hard, sun-dried excrement". She cheerfully resigns herself to this being "the uninteresting period" in her life before stardom, and learns from the colourful cast of people around her that "identity is rather a matter of self-perception". Although a little over-written at times, the cheeky, determined voice of the heroine as she waits for the beautifully disguised film star in training to emerge keeps you engaged to the end.--Cherry Smyth

 
Used availability for Rajeev Balasubramanyam's In Beautiful Disguises


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

January 2001 : USA Hardback
Title: In Beautiful Disguises
Author(s): Rajeev Balasubramanyam
ISBN: 1-4177-2620-2 / 978-1-4177-2620-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: San Val
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

June 2000 : UK Hardback
Title: In Beautiful Disguises
Author(s): Rajeev Balasubramanyam
ISBN: 0-7475-4702-5 / 978-0-7475-4702-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

August 2001 : UK Paperback
Title: In Beautiful Disguises (Bloomsbury paperbacks)
Author(s): Rajeev Balasubramanyam
ISBN: 0-7475-5341-6 / 978-0-7475-5341-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 2001 : UK Paperback
Title: In Beautiful Disguises
Author(s): Balasubramanyam Rajeev
ISBN: 0-7475-5349-1 / 978-0-7475-5349-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

1900 : USA Paperback
Title: In Beautiful Disguises
Author(s): Rajeev Balasubramanyam
ISBN: 1-58234-127-3 / 978-1-58234-127-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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