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The Newlywedsby Nell Freudenberger
Synopses & Reviews
A powerful, funny, richly observed tour de force by one of America’s most acclaimed young writers: a story of love and marriage, secrets and betrayals, that takes us from the backyards of America to the back alleys and villages of Bangladesh.
In The Newlyweds, we follow the story of Amina Mazid, who at age twenty-four moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York, for love. A hundred years ago, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. But this is an arranged marriage for the twenty-first century: Amina is wooed by—and woos—George Stillman online.
For Amina, George offers a chance for a new life and a different kind of happiness than she might find back home. For George, Amina is a woman who doesn’t play games. But each of them is hiding something: someone from the past they thought they could leave behind. It is only when they put an ocean between them—and Amina returns to Bangladesh—that she and George find out if their secrets will tear them apart, or if they can build a future together.
The Newlyweds is a surprising, suspenseful story about the exhilarations—and real-life complications—of getting, and staying, married. It stretches across continents, generations, and plains of emotion. What has always set Nell Freudenberger apart is the sly, gimlet eye she turns on collisions of all kinds—sexual, cultural, familial. With The Newlyweds, she has found her perfect subject for that vision, and characters to match. She reveals Amina’s heart and mind, capturing both her new American reality and the home she cannot forget, with seamless authenticity, empathy, and grace. At once revelatory and affecting, The Newlyweds is a stunning achievement.
"In this cross-cultural, fish-out-of-water tale from Freudenberger, an 11-month courtship consisting of many emails and one exceptionally awkward visit culminates in marriage when 24-year-old Amina Mazid moves from her home in Bangladesh to New York to marry engineer George Stillman. But the couple's new life is anything but perfect. Both Amina and George are harboring secrets and will have to work to prevent the past from ruining the future. Narrator Mozhan Marno turns in a strong performance in this audio, deftly handling the books large cast of characters and switching between Bengali and American accents. Marno also creates a range of voices and speech patterns for the characters, capturing both Amina's fast-talking coworkers in Rochester and the formal diction of her parents. But most importantly, Marno's narration is grounded in Amina's voice and changes with the character as she finally begins to shed her meekness. A Knopf hardcover. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From one of America's most dazzling talents ("Young writers as ambitious--and as good--as Nell Freudenberger give us reason for hope." --The New York Times Book Review) comes a cross-continental love story: a brilliantly observed, warmly engaging novel about the exhilarations--and complications--of getting, and staying, wed.
Amina Mazid is twenty-four when she leaves Bangladesh for Rochester, New York, and for George Stillman, the husband who met and wooed her online. It's a twenty-first-century romance that echoes ancient traditions--the arranged marriages of her home country. And though George falls for Amina because she is "straightforward" and doesn't "play games," each is hiding something from the other. Amina struggles to find her place in America--as a Muslim woman, an aspiring teacher, a wife with her own desires. But it is only when they put an ocean between them that Amina and George will discover whether they have a future--or if their secrets will tear them apart. Traveling from American suburbs to the cities of South Asia, The Newlyweds is a tour de force--a novel as rich with misunderstandings as it is with unlikely connections.
About the Author
Nell Freudenberger is the author of the novel The Dissident and the story collection Lucky Girls, winner of the PEN/Malamud Award and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; both books were New York Times Book Review Notables. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellowship from the New York Public Library, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists and one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40.” She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
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