Beloved Strangers: A Memoir
By: Chaudhuri Maria
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It is not that home is an unhappy place. It is just that in her family, joy is ephemeral. With a mother who yearns for the mountains, the solitude and freedom to pursue her own dreams and career and a charismatic but distant father who finds it difficult to expresses emotion, they are never able to hold on to happiness for very long. Maria studies the Holy Book, says her daily prayers and wonders if God is watching her. She dreams, like her mother, of unstitching the seam of her life. It is her neighbor, Bablu, the Imitator of Frogs, who both excites and repulses Maria by showing her a yellowing pornographic magazine, but it is Mala, a girl her own age who comes to work in their house, whose wise eyes and wicked smile makes her dizzy with longing. When she moves to New England for university at eighteen Maria meets Yameen, a man who lives in a desperately squalid apartment in Jersey City, woos her with phone calls and a marathon night of drinking in New York bars and is not what he seems...
From Dhaka to New York, this is a candid and moving account of growing up and growing away, a meditation on why people leave their homes and why they sometimes find it difficult to return. Beloved Strangers is an unforgettable memoir marking the arrival of a brilliant new voice from Bangladesh.
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