Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India

Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India

by Anita Jain

One smart and feisty woman's year in India looking for a husband the old-fashioned way reveals a rapidly changing culture and a whole host of ideas about the best way to find a mate.Anita Jain was fed up with the New York singles scene.

After three years of frustration and awkward dates, and under constant pressure from her Indian parents to find someone, she started to wonder: was looking for a husband in a bar any barbaric than traditional arranged marriage?

After all this effort, there had to be something easier.After announcing in a much-discussed New York magazine article her intention to try arranged marriage, Jain moves back to Indiathe impoverished, backward land her parents fledto find a husband.

Is the new urban Indian culture in which she's searching really all that different from America?With disarming candor, Jain tells her own romantic story even as it unfolds before her, and in the process sheds new light on a country modernizing at breakneck speed.

Marrying Anita is a refreshingly honest look at our own desires and the modern search for the perfect mate.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Cultural
  • Rating: 2.95
  • Pages: 320
  • Publish Date: July 22nd 2008 by Bloomsbury USA
  • Isbn10: 1596911859
  • Isbn13: 9781596911857

What People Think about "Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India"

So she moves to India in the hopes of finding a nice Indian guy. It was interesting to some degree, and she was so funny and nice on the radio, but her book was sort of bleh. It was interesting however, to learn a bit more about India's caste system and the whole arranged-marriages-culture.

She seems to cry about this an awful lot in the book but nor does she want to change anything either....I just got this feeling she has some sort of high expectation and it's just going to keep setting her up for failure.

Hard to determine stars to give this book; the writing style is pretty good, the beginning of the book makes some great observations--but it all seems very pointless in the end!) I read the first quarter of the book avidly, eagerly, enjoying the experience. What did I like about the book: Jain has a good writing style; I was very interested to gain some insights into the "New India" especially from the eyes of one whose father left India in the early 70s because of the lack of opportunity--now, this Harvard-educated journalist American daughter (who grew up in Sacramento area, actually!) flees TO India to escape the highflying New York culture with it's parties, bars, casual flings and viscious dating circle to find a more marriageable man. (She makes some great observations about the changes in India--has good insights into personalities and such) Here, though, is where I became quite peeved with Anita.

That being said, I was a more than just a little intrigued when I read a New York Times review of Anita Jains memoir in which she describes her experiences seeking a love match via the ancient tradition of the arranged marriage. As the reader learns in the first few chapters of the novel, Jain, who was raised by parents who emigrated from India to California in the '60s, is all too familiar with American style dating. Upon returning to the U.S. to live in New York City after a prolonged stint abroad as a journalist, Jain finds herself under more pressure than before to change her single status and starts to question the unchallenged merits of the way Americans chose their mates.

Nevertheless, something about this book is ultimately unsatisfying: while it purports to be a book about finding a husband and settling down--i.e., a serious and concerted change of mind and habits for the globe-trotting author--it ends up being a chronicle of changing the scenery but keeping the mind the same.

Kind of like non-fiction chick-lit. I liked the fact that she stayed in New Delhi after her one-year quest it made the relocation and story much more genuine, not just something she did so she could write a book.

This book is a fun, easy read but in the end the narrator is more difficult to empathize with than I'd hoped.

"New India"... Not just the hinterland, even the "Tier-II" cities lack any ground-breaking change that may be expected of the New India in question...

I also could never understand who Anita was really looking for - and I kept waiting for her to outgrow a lifestyle that seemed to be doing nothing for her - but she seemed very attached to and proud of her drinking and partying and casual liaisons.