The Pocket Guide to Being an Indian Girl by B K Mahal

The Pocket Guide to Being an Indian Girl

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.


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.

  • Anita and Me by Meera Syal
  • East is East - the film

Books with similar mood

Breaking Away

Anna Gavalda

In the Falling Snow

Caryl Phillips


Heidi Jon Schmidt

The Amateur Marriage

Anne Tyler

The Beekeeper's Pupil

Sara George

I Don't Know How She Does It

Alison Pearson

The Hero's Walk

Anita Badami

Dancing With the Two-headed Tigress

Tina Biswas

His 'n' Hers

Mike Gayle

Three of a Kind

Alison Norrington

White Powder, Green Light

James Hawes

Ancient Promises

Jaishree Misra


Anna Quindlen

According to Queeney

Beryl Bainbridge

Digging to America

Anne Tyler

Ishq and Mushq

Priya Basil

The Sealwoman's Gift

Sally Magnussen

Girls Can't Make Gun Noises

Paul Surridge


Gerard Stembridge

The India House

William Palmer

The Understudy

David Nicholls

Treading Water

Claire Collison

Catching the Light

Karen Powell

The Snack Thief

Andrea Camilleri

Some Kind of Hero

Donna Hay

The Golden Door

Kerry Jamieson

PS, I Love You

Cecelia Ahern

Point of Sale

Peter Sansom

Fasting, Feasting

Anita Desai

Park and Ride

Miranda Sawyer

City of Light

Lauren Belfer

Diary of a Provincial Lesbian

V G Lee

A Boy Made of Blocks

Keith Stuart

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

The P45 Diaries

Ben Hatch

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce

The Cookbook Collector

Allegra Goodman

Deaf Sentence

David Lodge

That They May Face The Rising Sun

John McGahern

Behaving like adults

Anna Maxted

Tears of the Giraffe

Alexander McCall Smith

Green Man Running

Georgina Hammick

Strange Boy

Paul Magrs

Let's Twist Again

Leo Cullen

Love in Vain

Federigo Tozzi

Five Photos of my Wife

Agnes Desarthe

The Light of Amsterdam

David Park

Short Girls

Bich Minh Nguyen