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ALI, MONICA - Brick Lane

 1460990827,
Near fine/VGC. Doubleday/Ted Smart, 2003. First edition-11th printing. Pictorial hardback in near fine condition, with Dj(two small watermarks on the outer and inner edges of the front Dj cover, a couple of creases and nicks on the Dj cover) in VGC. Nice and clean pages as new with two ink marks on the outer edges, light shelf wear on the Dj cover. Nice and clean book except for the watermarks on the Dj cover. 414pp. Price un-clipped. From Publishers Weekly: The immigrant world Ali chronicles in this penetrating, unsentimental debut has much in common with Zadie Smith's scrappy, multicultural London, though its sheltered protagonist rarely leaves her rundown East End apartment block where she is surrounded by fellow Bangladeshis. After a brief opening section set in East Pakistan-Nazneen's younger sister, the beautiful Hasina, elopes in a love marriage, and the quiet, plain Nazneen is married off to an older man-Ali begins a meticulous exploration of Nazneen's life in London, where her husband has taken her to live. Chanu fancies himself a frustrated intellectual and continually expounds upon the tragedy of immigration to his young wife (and anyone else who will listen), while letters from downtrodden Hasina provide a contrast to his idealized memories of Bangladesh. Nazneen, for her part, leads a relatively circumscribed life as a housewife and mother, and her experience of London in the 1980s and '90s is mostly indirect, through her children (rebellious Shahana and meek Bibi) and her variously assimilated neighbors. The realistic complexity of the characters is quietly stunning: Nazneen shrugs off her passivity at just the right moment, and the supporting cast-Chanu, the ineffectual patriarch; Nazneen's defiant and struggling neighbor, Razia (proud wearer of a Union Jack sweatshirt); and Karim, the foolish young Muslim radical with whom Nazneen eventually has an affair-are all richly drawn. By keeping the focus on their perceptions, Ali comments on larger issues of identity and assimilation without drawing undue attention to the fact, even gracefully working in September 11. Carefully observed and assured, the novel is free of pyrotechnics, its power residing in Ali's unsparing scrutiny of its hapless, hopeful protagonists. Near Fine/Very Good. ISBN: 9780385604840
GBP 13.80 [Appr.: EURO 15.5 US$ 17.38 | JPą 1888] Book number 380


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