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Naming Maya
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Naming Maya

By Uma Krishnaswami
2004, 178 pages, Hardback.
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Book Description from the Front Cover Flap

Although Maya has done her best to avoid it, she is spending part of her summer in Chennai, India, with her mother, who is trying to sell Maya's grandfathers old house. Maya decides to keep busy by taking photographs, viewing the trip from the outside through her camera lens. Soon she is drawn into a complicated friendship with eccentric Kamala Mami, who has been a housekeeper and cook for years in Maya's extended family. At the same time, Maya is thrust into an ocean of memories, all coming at her too quickly for her to understand. In particular, she is forced to examine the history of her parents' divorce-all the more painful because she believes the trouble began with the choosing of her name. For years the tension has simmered in a cauldron of anxiety, secrets, and misunderstandings. It is only with the help of Kamala Mami and Maya's cousin Sumati that she is finally able to see what happened to her parents. And from the city around her where names keep changing and nothing stays still, Maya finally learns that she can choose which memories to keep and which to let go of.

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Background on Uma Krishnaswami

Uma Krishnaswami was born in New Delhi, India, and now lives in Aztec, New Mexico, with her husband and son. She teaches writing workshops for children and is the author of several books for children, including Monsoon.

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