Tuesday, February 12, 2013

#BookChat THE DOHMESTICS by Mohanalakshmi RajaKumar #womensfiction


Edna, Amira, and Noof are neighbors but that doesn't mean they know what happens behind closed doors or that they have anything in common with their hired help. 

Maria, Maya, and Lillie live in the same compound as their employers but that's where the similarities begin and end. There's never a dull moment for anyone in this desert emirate. 

The unending gossip and unrelenting competition may be business as usual for expatriate communities but the unspoken secrets threaten to destroy life as everyone knows it.

From the Author:

I've lived in the Arabian Gulf for the last seven years. Being here has been an incredible journey into understanding more about myself as a South Asian American and the complexity of the Middle East.
One the signature features of living in the GCC as the countries which make up the Arabian Peninsula are known is the high standard of living of the locals as well as the expats (and include Qatar, Bah'rain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates). Meanwhile nearby in South and East Asia, there are other countries where citizens travel abroad, providing cheap labor in construction, customer service, and homes.

The domestic workers, or housemaids, are the central focus of this book. The variety in the ways their expat employers treat them and the aspirations they have for themselves are the stuff that drama is made of.

Reader's Reactions:

I'm more of the blood and guts kind of reader...but it pulled me into a culture and then used that culture as a vehicle to explore the relationships and dynamics between the privileged and the poverty-stricken; between workers and employees; between men and women; between power and corruption. I was taken on a journey that challenged me to not only understand this foreign culture, but to view my own with enlightened eyes.
--Aya Walksfar book blogger

As the story unfolds, Rajakumar weaves universal human drama of love, lust, hope and loss within and around the cultural tensions and dynamics between east and west and the haves and the have-nots.
James K. Kane, book blogger

Behind the Scenes:
I'm now working on a series of short films with real life domestics, to let them tell their own stories, in a series I've called Nanny Diaries: The Doha Edition.

You can see the first installment here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYMv7pgTXvg.

Rachelle's Comments: The Nanny Diaries will be very powerful vehicle to give voices to those who are seen and not heard from. Thank you for raising awareness.

Other books by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar:


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  1. So how long have you been in the Arabian Gulf? What was the biggest culture adjustment?

    1. Thanks for your interest M Pax! I have lived here for 7 years and ironically, the biggest shock was the other expats. There is a large sense of entitlement and cultural superiority here on the part of people who feel that this is not a 'real' city or lacks culture.

      We forgot how long nations take to develop! This one has about 30 years of official history and for some reason everyone thinks this makes it okay to judge.

      Hope you check out Dohmestics and let me know what you think!