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No One Can Pronounce My Name
by Rakesh Satyal


Overview -

One of Goodreads ' Best Books of the Month (May 2017)
One of BuzzFeed 's 31 Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Spring
One of The Millions ' Most Anticipated Books of the Year

A HUMOROUS AND TENDER MULTIGENERATIONAL NOVEL ABOUT IMMIGRANTS AND OUTSIDERS--THOSE TRYING TO FIND THEIR PLACE IN AMERICAN SOCIETY AND WITHIN THEIR OWN FAMILIES

In a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures.  Read more...


 
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More About No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
 
 
 
Overview

One of Goodreads' Best Books of the Month (May 2017)
One of BuzzFeed's 31 Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Spring
One of The Millions' Most Anticipated Books of the Year

A HUMOROUS AND TENDER MULTIGENERATIONAL NOVEL ABOUT IMMIGRANTS AND OUTSIDERS--THOSE TRYING TO FIND THEIR PLACE IN AMERICAN SOCIETY AND WITHIN THEIR OWN FAMILIES

In a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures. For some, America is a bewildering and alienating place where coworkers can't pronounce your name but will eagerly repeat the Sanskrit phrases from their yoga class. Harit, a lonely Indian immigrant in his mid forties, lives with his mother who can no longer function after the death of Harit's sister, Swati. In a misguided attempt to keep both himself and his mother sane, Harit has taken to dressing up in a sari every night to pass himself off as his sister. Meanwhile, Ranjana, also an Indian immigrant in her mid forties, has just seen her only child, Prashant, off to college. Worried that her husband has begun an affair, she seeks solace by writing paranormal romances in secret. When Harit and Ranjana's paths cross, they begin a strange yet necessary friendship that brings to light their own passions and fears.

Rakesh Satyal's No One Can Pronounce My Name is a distinctive, funny, and insightful look into the lives of people who must reconcile the strictures of their culture and traditions with their own dreams and desires.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250112118
  • ISBN-10: 1250112117
  • Publisher: Picador USA
  • Publish Date: May 2017
  • Page Count: 400
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > LGBT - Gay
Books > Fiction > Asian American

 
BookPage Reviews

Three isolated strangers' lives slowly intersect

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce the inspiration behind the title of Rakesh Satyal’s second novel, No One Can Pronounce My Name. Having grown up with a name that can be a tongue twister for white Americans, Satyal understands the bewilderment and frustration of his Indian-American characters all too well. Drawing on his own experiences in Middle America, Satyal follows up his award-winning debut, Blue Boy, with an extraordinarily compassionate work of fiction.

Taking readers into the suburbs of Ohio, Satyal chooses an otherwise unremarkable setting to tell a story that is anything but. He introduces us to Harit, a middle-aged bachelor who ineptly works in a department store by day and dresses up in his deceased sister’s sari at night. We also meet Ranjana, a stifled mother who secretly reads romantic thrillers and dreams of publishing her own stories while worrying her husband is having an affair. Finally, there is Prashant, a Princeton student who is struggling with unrequited longing for an Indian classmate, not to mention his desire to switch his major from chemistry to English literature, but he fears disappointing his parents.

At first, these three strangers’ stories are separate, united only by the common thread of their mutual isolation. Geography, race and culture alienate them from the people around them, but even worse, it has estranged them from their own selves. However, their paths gradually intersect, resulting in relationships that force them to throw open the shutters on their sheltered lives and hearts.

Ambitious in scope, No One Can Pronounce My Name dares to tackle life’s biggest questions, irrespective of nationality. Through a successful blend of pathos and humor, Satyal bravely explores themes of intimacy, identity and sexuality, asking his characters—and his readers—to closely examine the inalienable qualities that make us all human. With emotionally charged prose, he masterfully depicts the modern-day immigrant experience in a manner that is both deeply personal and universally relatable, transforming the foreign into the familiar.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Rakesh Satyal for No One Can Pronounce My Name.

This article was originally published in the May 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews