The Sitar by Rebecca Idris

The Sitar

Rebecca Idris

The ‘Lassi Lesbians’ are a group of young British-born Asian women exploring their sexuality. These girls are a juxtaposition: feistily fighting stereotypes while mindful of honouring their parents’ expectations of arranged marriage. I found the girls’ behaviour liberating while feeling sympathy for their desire to conform. I was disturbed by the menacing undercurrent of hate crime - its presence providing a contemporary edge to the story.

Extract

She combed out the deliberately placed kinks in her hair, wiped off her eyeliner and in its place drew on some kohl from the brass vial from Bangladesh, wincing as its roughly assembled metal wand scratched across her eye lids. Her hair was down, the rest of her face was void of make-up, and she secured the red polka-dotted scarf on her head (half-on half-off) with a discreet hair pin. There. Simple girl. No offensive signifiers of individuality or off-the-beaten-trackness.

Parallels
  • N-W by Zadie Smith
  • Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
  • The Last Taboo by Bali Rai

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