JASMINE by Bharati Mukherjee (Fawcett: $4.95).

A young woman finds herself caught between the repressed attitudes of her past in a Punjabi village and the freedom she enjoys in contemporary America in this handsomely crafted novel by the National Book Critics' Circle Award winner. As a young girl, Jasmine was told by the village astrologer that her horoscope was unlucky: She would bring disaster to any man she wed. In her efforts to defy this prediction, she endures the tragic violence that religious strife engenders in India and economic problems produce in the United States. With unusual sensitivity, Mukherjee illuminates the dilemma of an intelligent woman who must reinvent herself to reconcile the contradictory assumptions of two radically different cultures.

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