Bijah Shah Uses Own Experiences Growing Up in an Immigrant Family as Inspiration for Main Character in Debut Book: For the Love of Laxmi

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Bijal Shah
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Washington, D.C.—What is it like to grow up in an immigrant household as the only
daughter? Debut Author and Marketing Expert Bijah Shah is here to tell you through her new children’s book, For the Love of Laxmi: Everyday Desi Biases and the Imprints They Leave (Mascot Books).

This new book is filled with daily humorous moments that hold more than meets the eye and make Laxmi ponder their true meanings.

In these relatable, light-hearted, and educational pages, Laxmi learns from the world around her as she progresses from a baby, to an older sister, and, eventually, to a teenager. From being pushed on stage to dance in front of a crowd to learning about the facts of life, each scene has Laxmi asking meaningful questions about the all-too-common contradictory comments made by teachers and family members.

Through Laxmi’s inner dialogue, we witness how words can shape a child’s identity and insecurities.

Born in India and raised in the US, author Bijah Shah is fascinated by the dichotomy of being raised in both cultures—the little bit of holding on, the little bit of assimilation—and everything in between. This experience is what inspired her to create For the Love of Laxmi.

The book’s title might sound familiar to readers who have heard the common phrase “For the love of God.” In Hinduism, Laxmi is a Goddess of wealth, good fortune, youth, and beauty. Her name is often used when referring to a newborn daughter. Our heroine Laxmi’s name is no coincidence; these associations convey who Laxmi is: the growing, only daughter of a Desi household who is transforming into a strong, intelligent, and powerful woman. The meaning of Laxmi and the title of the book is a great conversation starter for families—who are encouraged to read this book together and discuss the
imprints we leave on each other.

Educational and engaging, For the Love of Laxmi puts a spotlight on the traditional gender roles that are especially typical within immigrant families and invites readers to ask questions with Laxmi too.

For the Love of Laxmi is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Mascot Books.

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