A long interview/review of BiM has appeared in India Currents, by Jeanne E. Fredriksen. I'm not sure how widely the magazine is read -- hopefully widely, since it's a substantial piece, intercut with a lot of quotes from her e-mail interview with me. (Their web page informs me that they reach 28,100 households, mostly in Silicon Valley). Nicely positive in tone:
On a rare occasion, a novel comes along that breaks rules, tears down barriers, and is a joy to read. Bodies in Motion by Mary Anne Mohanraj is such a novel....Chronological and selective, the stories move forward but touch previous references, solidifying relationships and events. As time passes, Mohanraj provides only the details necessary to string the genealogy together. This renders each story fresh and individual yet integral to the whole. Interestingly, the characters come alive through their thoughts and emotions in a way that dialogue could never afford. Based more upon introspection than dialogue, the stories allow the characters and their situations to develop deeply and intensely. There is no clear-cut plot, but the scope of the families and the life decisions they make captures and sustains the reader's interest...."A brief positive review of BiM in This Week. Among other things, Christy Zempter says:
Mohanraj's skill in expressing her characters' struggles is significant and apparent in their diverse reactions. Not only does she offer the images of young women caught between the security of the well-defined tradition of arranged marriage and the sometimes-frightening freedom of personal choice, she also presents the dilemma faced by the fathers of these women. Is it better to secure the future of their daughters or to allow them to determine their own destinies?Finally, a brief mention in the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee) recommended summer beach reads, by Ina Hughs:
Bodies in Motion by Mary Anne Mohanraj (HarperCollins, $22.96) is a collection of short stories scented with curry and bougainvillea and set in the two worlds of Sri Lanka and immigrant America. The interrelated but stand-alone stories cover two generations of two families in motion on different levels and with different agendas. "When you run, really run," says one of Mohanraj's bodies in motion, "you have to learn to breathe properly." Anne Tyler used the title Breathing Lessons some time back, but if she hadn't, it could serve well as the alternate title of this short-story collection."It wouldn't have occurred to me, but that's actually a pretty workable title, I agree.