Here’s another reading of Algren’s poetic Chicago: City on the Make.
Excruciatingly heart-breaking, Sold introduces us to Lakshimi, a Nepali girl, just thirteen when her parents, a hard-working mother and gambling step father sell her.
A National Book Award finalist, this poetic novel for teens, tells the story of a girl who’s never seen a phone, bus or TV is pulled away from everyone she knows and loves and traded like chattel for a pittance, which her stepfather is sure to soon waste. She’s taken from city to city till she reaches India and is kept in a brothel enslaved and unable to earn enough to ever pay off her debt.
The story’s power comes from its first person narration, Lakshimi’s sensitive and simple observations of all around her, the other girls, their children, Mumtaz, the woman who runs “Happy House.” This novel shows readers the fate of the nearly 12,000 Nepali girls who’re sold to Indian brothels every year.