The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
  Spring 2014          
   

 

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 Spring 2014

 

 
Editor's Note

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India Art Fair 2014

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 Book Review

Beloved Strangers
By Maria Chaudhari
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014

 

Reviewed by Aishwarya Singh


Maria Chaudhariís Beloved Strangers makes for a gripping journey. The author elaborates on her childhood with numerous anecdotes about personal experiences with her family and lifeís aspirations. She details her struggle with a lot of aspects of Bangladeshi culture. Most readers will find a lot to relate to, be it in familial love and conflict or the emotionally challenging process of growing up and growing out of oneís home and thus questioning old customs and ideas as one tries to incorporate oneís own dreams and opinions.

A strong theme throughout the book is the authorís longing to escape her native culture and move to the United States but at certain points in the book I found myself questioning whether there was something prominently more to her desire than what has been described in the book Ė maybe an experience, beyond just watching American wrestling matches, that brought about an attraction towards the west in her childhood itself. As a student in the United States who longs for home quite often, I was looking for a stronger and deeper reason for the authorís yearning for escape.

For readerís who enjoy discussions on identity, culture, aspirations and romantic escapism, Beloved Strangers is a must.  This is one of those books you can carry on a long flight or spend a weekend with, as itís difficult to put down once you begin reading.

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