"I was enthralled by how the author’s world, so different from my own, nonetheless raised important issues about my own humanity, ethnicity, race, and class. There is real passion underlying and within these well-constructed stories. They are never pedantic or didactic. The characters revel in their complex humanity. Temporary Lives is a polished, well-crafted, and profound collection worthy of the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Exploring oppressed peoples of India—men and women, across a range of ages—is no small feat. I particularly liked the author’s ability to stop time—to reveal in small moments the largeness (and, sometimes, the tragic smallness) of life. Interior lives are burnished with precise, sensual prose. I loved all the stories in this collection and how the thematic vision of ‘temporary lives’ was fulfilled.—Jewell Parker Rhodes, contest judge and author of Yellow Moon: A Novel
""In a stunning, multi-layered story collection examining the marginal among us, George Washington Univ. teacher Ramola D (Invisible Season: Poems) offers ten vivid portraits of modern-day misfits. Tackling everything from class struggle to gender issues to interfamily favoritism, D skillfully reveals the story behind each of her protagonists against an often bleak present and glimpses of a fairy tale ending sadly (or ironically) out of reach. Throughout, she proves an insightful storyteller with a poetic knack for evoking the beautiful and the brutal. . . . Though D's supple prose is the main attraction, she also manages to surprise with some of her (typically) melancholy endings.""—Publishers Weekly
""Magical, mythical, memorable, moving. Ramola D is a Scheherazade of the first order. This is a book to savior.""—Sandra Cisneros, author of Caramelo and The House on Mango Stree
""The often tragic lives of the characters in Ramola D's stories are told in a shimmering, poetic prose. Ultimately, these stories show life as it is: a tough, lonely journey. Unflinching in its vision, Temporary Lives reflects an intelligence and sensitivity that is rare.""—Githa Hariharan, author of Fugitive Histories and The Art of Dying
""If life is short, indeed temporary, then it must be celebrated and enjoyed to its fullest. But in Ramola D's heartbreaking debut, life can also be claustrophobic and oppressive with cultural and social expectations. Her stories examine how women suffer quietly with the emotional turmoil of their invisibility, how men look back upon a life lived and wonder with sadness whether it was indeed a rewarding one, and how young people must confront the frightening prospect of an adulthood mapped out for them—from marriage to profession—and decide whether they have the courage to defy tradition. These stunning narratives guide us through an unforgettable world where even the most hidden pain or silent grief longs for recognition. Compelling and skillfully constructed, these stories are 'like threads of light from distant stars, delicate in their entrance but powerful.'""—Rigoberto González, author of Crossing Vines and Men without Bliss"