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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Claudine on 10-25-17
Difficult to Review
There was a core story in this book which I enjoyed. It was the story about people who immigrated from India and their struggles with their lives. Some of it was due to immigration but much of it was due to their own personal struggles around grief and sexuality. I found it difficult to read/listen to, however, because of the way the author presented the story lines. The author went back and forth from one person's story to another's and there was no break and no way of telling that the story had moved from one character's storyline to another's. Then the story went from present to past and back to present quite often. And I am still confused about a very brief storyline in there about a white guy moving to New York that ended up working at the same store as two of the characters. Why was that even in there? The experience of listening to this book was like accidentally spilling someone's Scrabble tiles everywhere. You know there are words that make sense in there, but it is all mixed up and out of order. It was a struggle to follow the book but the base story was good.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Janet G. Zinn on 06-06-17
What a Great Book
If you could sum up No One Can Pronounce My Name in three words, what would they be?
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.
What did you like best about this story?
The interweaving of characters and stories.
What about Amol Shah’s performance did you like?
Animated and true to each character.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful