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Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Fifteen-year-old Vidya wants to go to college. This is, of course, a rather weird choice in British-occupied India in the early 1940s. When Vidya receives encouragement from her charismatic, loving father, she is thrilled. Then they happen upon a peace march in the street, and despite Appa's warnings, Vidya follows him into the crowd and her universe collapses.

Written gently, with the flavor of an exotic and beautiful tongue, but with rich description and immaculately chosen vocabulary, Climbing the Stairs is a novel of heartrending devastation and the terrifying truth of history. The reader, whether male or female, teenage or adult, will not be able to close the book until Vidya's last words. I recommend it to those who hurt and to those who long to be absorbed in a culture not their own.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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