Two neighbors from the same village fall in love and elope to a shelter for couples that break caste norms. A Hindu woman falls in love with a Muslim man, drawing the ire of Hindu nationalists. Two women start a lesbian relationship.

These three couples are the protagonists of Mansi Choksi’s The Newlyweds: Rearranging Marriage in Modern India (Atria Book, 2022). This work charts the lives of Dawinder and Neetu, Monika and Arif, Reshma and Preethi, who all break social norms in their relationships, and are forced to endure the sometimes-violent consequences—not always successfully.

In this interview, Mansi and I talk about the three couples in her book—and what their struggles tell us about love, relationships and social pressure in today’s India.

Mansi Choksi is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and two-time Livingston Award Finalist. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and more. She lives in Dubai with her husband and son. The Newlyweds is her first book.

You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The Newlyweds. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.

Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon.

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