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“This is a poignant look at a young woman’s vigilance to break from expectations and create her own destiny amid a country’s struggle
for independence…”

School Library Journal
In Climbing the Stairs, Raman stands up for Vidya’s right to use the upstairs library. The first time the two speak to each other, Raman quotes the Bhagavad Gita, a major religious text in India. When thatha joins them in the library, he and Raman discuss the poetic imagery of Bharatiyar, a Tamil poet committed to the cause of India’s independence.

It is clear that Raman is well-versed in Indian history and culture. After reading
Climbing the Stairs, you have been introduced to much of it as well.

Below is a list of resources to further your understanding of some of the aspects of Indian history and culture you have read about.

Indian History and Culture

Banerjee, Anjali.
Looking for Bapu. 2008. New York: Yearling.

Chandra, Vikram.
Love and Longing in Bombay.1999. Boston: Back Bay Books.

Krishnadas, Nair, C. G.
Growing up with Gods. 2003. Chennai, India: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Unfinished Journey by Yehudi Menuhin (music)

Bose, D. M. et al.
A Concise History of Science in India. 2002. New Delhi: Verso.

For the complete list of resources on Indian history and culture, click here.
“I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in Indian history. The setting and time-period covered by this book are not often covered in American literature and especially not in such a truthful, open way. Sometimes I find that Indian-American authors tend to romanticize India and their novels read as odes to a perfect country where problems such as caste-based discrimination and sexism don't seem to exist. However, through Vidya's eyes, the author unflinchingly shows us her view of what it was like to live in a male-dominated society and where oppression was a fact of life. We see shocking events and difficult social problems portrayed honestly, and this important time in India's history comes to life in a believable and interesting way.”
– A. Knight “askmonkey” from Amazon.com Customer Reviews