Pioneer Boulevard: Los Angeles Stories (Paperback)
The ten stories in Pioneer Boulevard, named for the Artesia, CA street that is known as Little India, are set in the Indian community of Los Angeles. Most of the protagonists are, like the author, women who have migrated to LA from India, but the book is populated with characters from other countries, including Mexico, El Salvador, Vietnam, Pakistan, and England.Set in the context of the recent economic crisis, the sense of an overstretched, underfinanced world pervades these narratives. One woman must clinch the job that will sponsor her work permit; another has to sell her wedding necklace to pay the bills. A third learns about an unplanned pregnancy days after her husband has received notice of an impending layoff.Farcical and somber, wry and tender, these stories draw us into the chaotic, comic world of the pioneer, where habits of consumption and ways of relating and even of speaking are constantly in flux.