OverviewLakshmi, a bright student who grew up in poverty, marries and immigrates to the United States from India to provide a better life for herself and her family. Clinging to her cultural realities, she forces her American daughter, Pooja, into an arranged marriage, creating a rift of resentment. Pooja’s daughter, Deepa, is an out lesbian to everyone but her family. The woman Deepa loves presents an ultimatum—come out to Pooja or break up—and Deepa is forced to confront her greatest fear.Three generations of Indian and Indian-American women navigate the harsh slums of Chennai to the bustle of New York City, struggling through a cathartic generational collision to try to come together as a family.
Reviews"Ms. Kumar has managed to narrate each story in a different voice, a different style, to suit each generation and time period. Her descriptions, particularly of rural India, are exquisite. The sights, sounds, and smells of Chennai flow off the page like a pool of color to surround us." —Velvet Lounger, Curve Magazine
"The Paths of Marriage is a richly textured story full of bountiful detail, well-defined characters, and unexpected cultural and social insight. It expresses a rare fidelity and beauty, while having the heart to show both the dark underbelly of Indian and American cultures, as well as the bright lights they share." —Salem West, The Rainbow Reader
"Mala Kumar tackles issues that are of relevance to the Indian diaspora with sensitivity, but more admirably, with courage and tact. The issues of failed arranged marriages, the LGBTQ community and immigration among the Indian diaspora are rarely addressed by authors, and it is to be appreciated that Kumar attempts to deal with them." —Sonali Kudva, Brown Girl Magazine
Author BiographyMala Kumar is an international development practitioner based out of New York City. She is grateful her hard work and degrees paid off in landing her innovative jobs for some of the most prestigious institutions in the world, including the United Nations. When not immersed in work or writing, you can find Mala exploring NYC's latest culinary adventure, in an intense workout at the gym (often to mitigate the effects of said culinary adventure), planning her latest international excursion, or blocking out the subtitles on the latest French film.