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The Pocket Guide to Being an Indian Girl

by B K Mahal

A novel about an Asian teenager living with her family in Birmingham, struggling with the conflicts between East/West cultures. Sound familiar? It actually isn't a bad read and different from the others in that her parents are no longer together. Her mum is caught up in traditional family values and very much influenced by her sisters. Her dad is suffering from a mental illness. I found the central character very irritating - swerving erratically from 'life and soul' with a caustic sense of humour, to introspective and downbeat - a typical teenager. Stick with it though, as the end is very moving and uplifting.

Extract

I was quick going in those revolving doors and quicker coming out,'cos there, slap right in the middle of the Dudley News was my face as it had been three years ago! Three bloody years ago I was a skew-whiff alien without a planet. Oh, that got my blood curdling. Rule 11: Indian girls only make the front page if they've landed a role in an Indian flick, had a forced marriage or run away. I had apparently done the last.

Parallels

East is East - the film
 

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