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In this charming memoir, a jet-setting journalist falls in love with the heir to a ramshackle, one hundred-room palace in India, and finds home and love in the most unexpected of places Say you're a glamorous magazine writer with a serious Jimmy Choo habit, a weakness for five-star Balinese resorts, and a reputation for dating highborn British men. Then one day you find you're swooning over a most unlikely suitor, an Indian journalist who turns out to be a prince (of sorts), but whose family palace is falling to pieces, and whose intimidating mother, upon meeting you for the first time, examines your hair for dandruff. Would you run for the hills? Or would you soldier on for the sake of the man who just might be your soul mate? A modern-day fairy tale, Where the Peacock Singsis a funny, insightful, and deeply moving chronicle of life in modern India as seen through the author's complex relationship with her husband's ancestral mansion, a century-old, hundred-room ramshackle palace called Mokimpur. Mokimpur is endearingly imperfect, a broken down relic in desperate need of a makeover. The Peacock Sings for Raintakes readers on a cross-cultural journey from the manicured gardens of Beverly Hills, to the bustling streets of Hong Kong and finally to the rural Indian countryside as Alison comes to terms with her complicated new family, leaves the modern world behind, and learns the true meaning of home.
ALISON SINGH GEE is an award-winning international journalist whose work has been translated into eight languages and has appeared in People, Vanity Fair, In Style, Marie Claire, International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. For eight years, she was a staff features writer/correspondent for People magazine. She won the 1997 Amnesty International Award for Feature Writing for her Asiaweek cover story about child prostitution in Southeast Asia. Alison lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
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“This enchanting memoir, which reads like a modern fairy-tale, brings radically different worlds together. And it does so in a charming, witty, and very poignant way.” --Noelle Oxenhandler, author of The Wishing Year: A House, A Man, My Soul
“Alison Singh Gee has written an expansive page-turner, masterfully braiding her poignant search for home, love and family with the vibrant, startling details of an exotic landscape. Her eloquent prose style is equal to the lusciousness of her subject, and the reader who travels with her is treated to sheer reading pleasure. This is an engaging, insightful, and supremely entertaining debut.” –Joelle Fraser, author of The Territory of Men: A Memoir
“Where the Peacocks Sing is for every woman who thought her Prince was Mr. Big and that life was a closet full of Jimmy Choos, but then realized she was hungry for something deeper. Alison Singh Gee takes us on a life-changing journey from glamorous “it” girl in bustling Hong Kong to Los Angeles and India, where nothing is as it seems, and everything a reminder that even the most waifish among us can secure the greenest of grasses, a place to call home, and a family to love.” –Kim Suneè, author of Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home
“This is a beautifully written, honest and evocative account of one woman's journey of self-discovery when her LA magazine-cover life collides with that of her aristocratic husband and his decrepit palace in rural India. Singh Gee raises fascinating questions about our relationships with property and how our dreams can shape and even sabotage our happiness. I felt like I too lived in Mokimpur by the end of it, with all its glorious sights and smells, and I got a far more interesting picture of modern rural India than can usually be gleaned through the media. Most importantly it made me think hard about what the word Home actually means.” --JoJo Moyes, author of The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel
"People say nobody changes for anyone else. Where the Peacocks Sing makes a strong case that the only thing that changes people is love. To that end Alison Gee examines her family's money demons and how they have shaped her values. And her transformation is a testament to the generosity and beauty that blossoms when you put in the effort for the right person." --Mishna Wolff, author of I'm Down: A Memoir
"Alison elegantly and compassionately renders this curry-spiced, real-life fairy tale of an L.A. girl who dreamed of being a princess. Here, true love isn't airy-fairy, but as concrete as finding a real home to call your own--making this the most satisfying happily-ever-after I've read in a long while." --Samantha Dunn, author of Not by Accident and Failing Paris "There were moments while in the middle of reading that I had to look up and remember where I was, so transported was I. In her memoir, Alison Singh Gee achieves that rare distinction of making her story - as fabled and surprising as it is - entirely relatable. Gorgeously written and filled with poignant moments and characters who deserve their own stories, her book brings a crumbling Indian palace and its neighboring terrain to vivid life, and shows how anything can be transformed and healed with the right kind of love." --Kavita Daswani, author of For Matrimonial Purposes and Lovetorn
“We need more books about our visits to other people’s lands, languages, and imaginations. Alison Singh Gee gives us just that, an inside story from an outsider. Descriptive, wild, and adventurous, Where the Peacocks Sing is a global serenade to modern India, to love, and to figuring out who you are and what matters - in the most surprising ways and places.” --Rachel DeWoskin, author of Foreign Babes in Beijing