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-40s, 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-40s, 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.
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What a Great Book
This is a wonderful novel, parts fun & touching. There are no perfect characters, only lovable portraits. I laughed aloud while listening, not such a great scene on the subway. Otherwise a delightful listen.
The interweaving of characters and stories.
Animated and true to each character.
- Janet G. Zinn