Don't Let Him Know
In a boxy apartment building in an Illinois college town, Romola Mitra, a newly arrived young bride, anxiously awaits her first letter from home in India. When she accidentally opens the wrong letter, it changes her life. Decades later, her son, Amit, back in the U.S., finds the same letter and thinks he has discovered his mother's secret. But secrets carry within them their own secrets sometimes.
Amit does not know that Avinash, his devoted father, lurked on gay chat rooms at times, unable to set aside his lifelong attraction to men. Avinash, for his part, had no idea about the memories of a starry romance his dutiful wife kept tucked away among her silk saris. As Amit settles down as a computer engineer in San Francisco, he too is torn between his new life here and his duties toward the one he has left behind in India.
Don't Let Him Know sweeps up multiple generations of a family, moving from an illicit encounter in a Calcutta park to an unlikely friendship forged at a Carbondale gay bar, from midnight snacks of a great-grandmother's mango chutney to wayward temptations at a McDonald's drive-thru. Tender, funny, and beautifully told, it is an unforgettable story about the sacrifices we make for those we love.
A tender, powerful, and beautifully told story of displacement, Don't Let Him Know marks the arrival of a brave new voice in Indian literature
SANDIP ROY is a writer and journalist based in Kolkata. He has been a long-time commentator on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, one of the most listened-to radio programmes in the US, and has a weekly radio postcard for public radio in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been Senior Editor at the popular Indian news portal Firstpost.com and editor with New America Media. Sandip has won several awards for journalism and contributed to various an thologies including Storywallah!, Contours of the Heart, Because I Have a Voice: Queer Politics in India,Out! Stories from the New Queer India, New California Writing 2011 and The Phobic and the Erotic: The Politics of Sexualities in Contemporary India. Don't Let Him Know has been shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award for Fiction, and longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award and the Green Carnation Prize. @sandipr