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An American Brat Paperback – 9 Feb 2006

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Paperback, 9 Feb 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions; Reprint edition (9 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571310495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571310491
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,423,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 July 2000
Format: Paperback
I was immediately attracted to Bapsi Sidhwa's observant and gently hunourous style when I started reading this book. From the little I know of it she also managed to capture well the anomalous position of the shrinking Parsi society in the Asian sub-continent. I also found the characters, particularly the Parsi ones, attractive and believable. However, by the time I reached the middle of the book, I began to get bored, feeling that the story line and characters were not really being developed. As a result, the book seemed to peter out. I dithered between two and three stars, but settled for three because of the author's engaging style.
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By Karel Helman on 30 Jun. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 29 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Cultural shock and awe 20 Oct. 2005
By Lynn Harnett - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Sidhwa's story opens in the author's birthplace, Pakistan, where Muslim fundamentalism has swayed 16-year-old Feroza Ginwalla, a lively, headstrong child who berates her mother for showing her arms and refuses to answer the telephone - even though the Ginwalla family is Zoroastrian, or Parsee, not Muslim.

Her mother, Zareen, decides to remove Feroza from these influences and sends her to visit her young uncle, Manek, a student in America.

Feroza's arrival in New York, from her humiliating ordeal at Customs, to the whirlwind tour of museums, towering buildings and glittering Fifth Avenue shop windows, to the bag ladies, derelicts and predatory young men, is a starkly humorous study of extremes.

Before leaving New York Feroza ventures out alone. The reader's sense of danger to this ebullient neophyte diminishes as she successfully negotiates the streets and shops and returns to the YMCA building where she and her uncle are staying. Only to be trapped in the fire stairs 22 stories up. As she loses her bearings, finds every door locked and begins to hear stealthy noises, Feroza succumbs to abject panic.

Chastened by this experience, Feroza wastes most of her visa watching television and eating delicacies like Vienna sausages out of cans. It's Manek who decides she, too, should study in America. To escape his bossiness, Feroza decides on Twin Falls, Idaho.

Feroza's initiation into things American accelerates under the tutelage of Jo, her roomate, who Feroza categorizes as "a 'juvenile delinquent,' a Western, and more specifically, American phenomenon." Jo drinks, curses, shoplifts and picks up men.

Slowly Feroza sorts through American customs, adopting those that suit her, and recognizing Jo's self-destructive behavior and becoming protective of her.

Then she falls in love with an American. At home in Pakistan all hell breaks loose. A Parsee girl who marries out of her religion is ex-communicated (not so, a Parsee man). Although determined not to, it seems Feroza must choose.

Sidwha's ("Cracking India") style is humorous and turbulent. While sometimes the story seems to digress from its focus - delving more deeply than necessary into Jo's and Manek's lives - vivid details illuminate an appealing heroine's unusual coming of age.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A book of conflicting logic for all involved 23 Feb. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I loved all of the characters but was never sure where we were going with Manek (Mike). I wish I had know that there was a glossary at the end before I finished the book. I think the characters were built on the previous book so now I'll go back and read that one. I want more by this author - great. And were are the Parcees from?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyed reading this book very much 24 Dec. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Yet again, Bapsi Sidhwa has delivered another great novel. I have not read the Crow Eaters, yet, but now I am eager to read it. As a Pakistani girl who's grown up in the States, I enjoyed Bapsi Sidhwa's depiction of the effect of the western society has on Feroza, transforming her from a simple and scared young girl into an independent young women who is able to make her own decisions.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Overall enjoyable, but lackadaisical at times 20 Feb. 2002
By Komal - Published on
Format: Paperback
An overall enjoyable read, but I found it to be lackadaisical and undeveloped at times. The twist at the end did come to my surprise and I was impressed by it. The end certainly tied the whole theme of the novel tightly together; that is, a pampered young Pakistani woman maturing into a an independent Pakistani-American in the US, allowing her to choose the best of both worlds, the mother-land and the new-land. She also learns that she will fly only when her wings strengthen, as they do throughout the novel.
In response to the earlier review, Manek's character allowed a bird's eye view narrative of what may be in store for Feroza, perhaps a male's account of being a Pakistani immigrant. Also, with Pakistani culture, Feroza couldn't have been sent off alone to America by herself. Manek, her uncle was young enough to provide comic relief through their sarcastic banter, yet he also somewhat of an authority figure for her. Any other relation such as a cousin or family friend may have not provided both aspects of character.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good Reading 17 Sept. 2010
By Cecilia Berner - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Always interesting to read of other cultures reacting to the USA. I feel this is a timely book and needs to be read.
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