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Difference Beats At The Heart Of 'White Dancing Elephants'

Chaya Bhuvaneswar's new collection can be a hard read at times — she doesn't shy away from the difficulties of the immigrant experience in America. But these stories also offer a core of hope.
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A young woman walks around a city after suffering a miscarriage. She talks to the ghost of her child as she walks: "My sister posed once for her husband and he painted her, as he would paint you in her arms if she had you — if you ever came back to this world, my love, and found me gone." This woman is devastated by her loss, and as you read, and this first story, which gives the collection its title, sets the tone right from the start: There will be pain, drama, multiculturalism, unfulfilled desires, and the repercussions of love. Yes, reading this will be painful, but you will enjoy every page.

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