As a bookish child in Calcutta I used to thrill to the adventures of bad girls whose pursuit of happiness swept them outside the bounds of social decency. Tess of the d’Urbervilles Emma Bovary and Anna Karenina lived large in my imagination. The naughty girls of Hollywood films flirted and knew how to drive.
I had never walked on the street alone when I was growing up in Calcutta up to age 20. I had never handled money. You know there was always a couple of bodyguards behind me who took care if I wanted… I needed pencils for school I needed a notebook they were the ones who were taking out the money. I was constantly guarded.
I had a 2-week courtship with a fellow student in the fiction workshop in Iowa and a 5-minute wedding in a lawyer’s office above the coffee shop where we’d been having lunch that day. And so I sent a cable to my father saying ‘By the time you get this Daddy I’ll already be Mrs. Blaise!’