Reviews and Press

Maya of Michigan: a novel of linked stories. FORTHCOMING, 2019, New York

Advance praise for Maya of Michigan  


“With stellar perception and a keen understanding of the human heart, Debotri Dhar takes the reader on a perfectly paced journey of intersecting lives. Along the way, you will meet characters both extraordinary and familiar, savor the sheer beauty of Dhar’s language, and emerge with a deeper understanding of what links us together.”  —Renee Macalino Rutledge, author of the acclaimed novel,  The Hour of Daydreams   


“In an age of increasing tensions, Debotri Dhar deftly explores what it means to search for home. In these compelling and richly interwoven stories, Dhar’s characters must navigate their way through the shifting boundaries of family, friendship, and love, their relationships both strengthened and fractured in the face of racial, class, gender, and plain human differences. Maya of Michigan consistently surprises and pleases, and should be at the top of your ‘must-read’ booklist.”  —Dan Berne, author of The Gods of Second Chances  


Maya of Michigan is a series of interconnected stories about losing and finding home. Maya, with her many languages, negotiates a space between languages, unfolding on the canvas of airport hubs where the most unlikely people meet. Dhar has a perceptive eye, and a delightful way with language. Once you begin reading, the book is hard to put down.”  —Dr. Mehr Afshan Farooqi, Director, Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures, University of Virginia    


“In Maya of Michigan, Debotri Dhar offers a new vision of an Indian’s expat life in the US, one in which everybody is a traveller of distances large and small, part of a vast web of connections. Dhar unfolds an international diorama in a local sphere, with stories of intercultural love lives in Michigan, Kolkata, and Oxford. Gentle humor and genuine kindness give us glimpses into women’s lives, from a love for food and gardens to the pain and joy of family, riven through with racism’s acid and the violence of border controls. Dhar’s women, whatever their backgrounds, are full of agency, hope and dreams. They invite their readers to create local, global, small and large homes with them.”  —Dr. Petra Kuppers, Award-winning writer, performance artist, and Professor of English and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan.  


“The links that form the chain of Maya of Michigan’s interconnected stories are made of heart, compassion, and the triumph of love over loneliness. Dhar’s novel is a moving homage to the beauty of women and their diverse lives. Maya may be stuck at JFK and longing to fly home, but Debotri Dhar moves deftly from character to character to create a more important journey for Maya, and the reader. Dhar’s characters bravely refuse to let cultural or family constraints define who they hope to become. Dhar’s sparkling prose and graceful, sympathetic eye on her characters makes clear that Maya is not just of Michigan, but of the world.”  —Laura Hulthen Thomas, Head, U-M residential college creative writing program; author, States of Motion, Wayne State Univ. Press

The Courtesans of Karim Street. 2015, New Delhi

“Dhar creates intelligible female characters with relatable predicaments. The book, like most contemporary diasporic writing, is topographically situated in the US and India. For those who enjoy history, fiction and mystery, this novel shall make for an extremely interesting and delightful read… Refreshingly new take on the old.” – The Pioneer http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/agenda/special/modern-day-courtesans.html  


"...honesty in the primary players, and an acceptance of human failings"- The Book Review http://old.thebookreviewindia.org/articles/archives-5101/2016/august/8/melding-past-and-present.html  


"A far cry from the over-romanticized narratives of such women, the book meticulously documents the decline of the North India's courtesan culture over the last century and their current lives of poverty and desperation lived at the margins of modern society." - The Telegraph, India 


 "At a crucial interface of history, bloodlines and culture lies Debotri Dhar's book The Courtesans of Karim Street....Courtesans' stories have been methodically removed from popular discourse. Dhar's job here was to address this silencing and present an alternative: at this, she has been successful." The Sunday Guardian, New Delhi http://www.sunday-guardian.com/bookbeat/doe-eyed-witnesses-of-a-cultures-fading-grandeur

Education and Gender. Bloomsbury, 2014, London

"Debotri Dhar has brought together a formidable collection of international authors who have contributed their own particular expertise... Dhar introduces the book by advocating the importance of access to education around the world. She sets the scene for the remainder of the book by promoting the need for academics, humanitarians, policy makers and politicians alike to critically examine the relationship between gender and education." - British Journal of Education Studies  


"This volume, expertly edited by Debotri Dhar, presents a remarkable range of current scholarship within the field of education development and gender ... This book is a must-read for anyone wishing to engage meaningfully with [the topics] ... Well-researched, well-written, and well-framed." - International Review of Education