Bapsi Sidhwa An American Brat: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781571310491

An American Brat: A Novel

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9781571310491: An American Brat: A Novel
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Feroza Ginwalla, a pampered, protected 16-year-old Pakistani girl, is sent to America by her parents, who are alarmed by the fundamentalism overtaking Pakistan and their daughter. Hoping that a few months with her uncle, an MIT grad student, will soften the girl’s rigid thinking, they get more than they bargained for: Feroza, enthralled by American culture and her new freedom, insists on staying. A bargain is struck, allowing Feroza to attend college with the understanding that she will return home and marry well. As a student in a small western town, Feroza’s perceptions of America, her homeland, and herself begin to alter. When she falls in love with and wants to marry a Jewish American, her family is aghast. Feroza realizes just how far she has come and wonders how much further she can go. This delightful coming-of-age novel is both remarkably funny and a remarkably acute portrayal of America as seen through the eyes of a perceptive young immigrant.

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From the Back Cover:

As An American Brat opens in Pakistan, the extended family of sixteen-year-old Feroza Ginwalla, a lively and temperamental young girl, agonize over the decision to send Feroza to America for a three-month holiday? This act of apparent audacity arises from concern over Feroza's conservative attitudes which stem from Pakistan's rising tide of fundamentalism. Feroza's chaperone in America, an uncle only six years her senior, is her guide, friend, and the bane of her existence. Her relationships and adventures shape her alternately hilarious and terrifying perceptions of America. Feroza's family in Pakistan, meanwhile, are in delicious turmoil over the possibility that American ways will ruin her. In the tradition of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and Gish Jen's Typical American, An American Brat brings insight while entertaining readers with an enormously satisfying story and characters. Sidhwa allows us to see Americans from the point of view of newcomers - an occasionally unsettling perspective - while gently illuminating the potentially destructive influence of fundamentalism on a culture and individuals.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Pakistan-born Sidhwa--who created the endearing Junglewalla clan in The Crow Eaters (1982)--limns the more sobering experiences of one of the clan's descendants in the States. A member herself of the ancient Parsi sect to which the Junglewallas--as well as the protagonist here, Feroza Ginwalla- -belong, Sidhwa makes this sect one of the many strands that affect young Feroza as she seeks to make a new life for herself. The only daughter of affluent Fareen and Cyrus Ginwalla, 16-year-old Feroza has enjoyed an indulged childhood. But when Fareen, uneasy with the growing fundamentalism in Islamic Pakistan, sees even her fearless and self-willed daughter sympathizing with the new dispensation (Feroza objects to Fareen's wearing a sleeveless sari-blouse), she decides to send the girl to the US for a three-month visit with her young uncle Manek, an MIT student--a visit that turns into four years at college and the decision to settle in the country Feroza loves ``despite her growing knowledge of its faults.'' It is the anatomy of the decision to stay on that makes this book so distinctive, as Sidhwa contrasts the warm, loving world of family and religious faith back home with the difficulties of Feroza's adjustment in a strange and colder place. The decision is based not only on the comforts the US offers but also, especially for a woman, on its tolerance and freedom. And though her love affair with a Jewish student falters over irreconcilable religious differences, Feroza realizes that one day she might marry--but now ``more sure of herself, she wouldn't let anyone interfere.'' Understandably less exuberant than Sidhwa's first novel (though scenes back in Lahore recapture some of the wry affection for family eccentricities)--but, still, Feroza exactly reflects the dilemmas of those born in the Third World who can flourish only in another. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780915943739: An American Brat

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0915943735 ISBN 13:  9780915943739
Publisher: Milkweed Editions, 1993
Hardcover

9781571310057: An American Brat

Milkwe..., 1995
Softcover

9780140243116: An American Brat

Penguin, 1994
Softcover

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