Chamber of Perfumes
by Inderjit Badhwar
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In this account of a young Indian man's split sense of self, the story's protagonist recognizes the source of his deep internal conflict—his dual loyalties to the Indian and American cultures. Keeping his dying father company in the chamber of perfumes, Tan reflects upon the many divides—between Hinduism and Christianity, atheism and faith, traditional family mores and sexual liberty, and a society enveloped by castes and sympathies for the extreme left—that separate his two personal universes.

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