Item description for On Clipped Wings by Jameela Alter...
Focusing on the personal journeys of two daughters bornin Calcutta---one born to a wealthy Muslim family and the other to a penniless street beggar---this intricately woven story delicately touches on evolving customs and cultural hardships. The two women explore three continents and multifarious perspectives, discovering human commonalities among those they meet. Examining numerous aspects of life, from street urchins and the exquisite neighborhood of Bohra to female circumcision and death, the characters ultimately find peace.
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Release Date Apr 1, 2008
Publisher India Research Press
ISBN 8183860745 ISBN13 9788183860741
Availability 0 units.
More About Jameela Alter
Jameela Alter is a Montessori school teacher." "She lives in Bowie, Maryland.
Reviews - What do customers think about On Clipped Wings?
Like an opal Oct 18, 2006
OK, when I first read this book, I was decreasing my own pleasure by not letting myself believe it on its own terms. Although the surroundings (physical, cultural and emotional) are beautifully described, I kept questioning the story line, asking "Could that really happen?" That interrupted the flow (although I kept reading because I was enjoying it so much) and made me miss something from the book as a whole. Yet the book had such grace, such luster, that I was drawn back to it. Early in my second reading, I realized what I needed to do to let this book work its magic: I had to adopt what I call an Indian way of acceptance, so that I could really appreciate the story, the beauty of its characters, the glorious inter-weaving of joy and pain, and the sense of immersion. Finally, I can say this is a magnificent piece of work. If you need to read it more than once, go ahead.
The story focuses on the daughters of two families in Calcutta: one girl born to a wealthy and cultured Muslim family; the other born to a loving but penniless street beggar mother who dies from hardship, illness and medical neglect not long into the story. (This dead mother continues to be a character, though.) The book follows both girls through their young lives and into three continents, offering some astonishing scenes, all of which, like an opal, glimmer one way or another and show one color or another depending upon the angle of the viewer, which angle Alter skillfully changes, chapter by chapter.
The personal journey of a young daughter of religious Muslims in the traditional Bohra community of Calcutta is not carefree, though it is thought of as protected. Obviously, the personal journey of one of Calcutta's street urchins can be dismal and tragic. But "On Clipped Wings" does not suffer from a sense of weighty sorrow and injury. If you think of the mournful tones of a lovely requiem, you have the sense of how the author delivers her message of misery, and ultimately, in spite of all that, what comes out is peaceful and rewarding.
I think the world of this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.