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You Have Given Me a Country: A Memoir download epub

by Neela Vaswani


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Neela Vaswani’s memoir begins and ends in airport terminals. Neela Vaswani is the award-winning author of You Have Given Me a Country and Where the Long Grass Bends.

Neela Vaswani’s memoir begins and ends in airport terminals. From New York to New Delhi, two journeys at two different times in life, 28 years apart. This book describes those 28 years, and her life as a unique mixture of two different races and cultural backgrounds. She writes chronologically, and reveals not just her parents separate lives, but even further up the family tree. Her work has received an American Book Award, an O. Henry Prize, and a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award.

Neela Vaswani's memoir begins and ends in airport terminals. A mixed race child doesn't have it easy in any culture, whether in the US or India, and she details her youth with anecdotes that are sometimes funny but often painful. Discrimination and prejudice are everywhere, which I found amazing considering this was relatively recent history (she was born in 1974).

2010 ForeWord Book of the Year, Essay Vaswani is a confident writer whose unflinching eye shows the reader the .

2010 ForeWord Book of the Year, Essay Vaswani is a confident writer whose unflinching eye shows the reader the beauty grounded in the mundane. San Francisco Chronicle -Vaswani’s voice is witty, sharp, innovative, unique. Combining memoir, history, and fiction, the book follows the paths of the author's Irish-Catholic mother and Sindhi-Indian father on their journey toward each other and the biracial child they create.

Neela Vaswani's second full-length work thematically echoes such books as The .

Neela Vaswani's second full-length work thematically echoes such books as The Color of Water, Running in the Family, or Motiba's Tatoos, but it is entirely unique in approach, voice, and story. Neela Vaswani's second full-length work thematically echoes such books as The Color of Water, Running in the Family, or Motiba's Tatoos, but it is entirely unique in approach, voice, and story

A ForeWord Book of the Year You Have Given Me a Country is an emotionally powerful exploration of blurred . Neela Vaswani’s memoir begins and ends in airport terminals.

Combining memoir, history, and fiction, the book follows the paths of the author’s Irish-Catholic mother and Sindhi-Indian father on their journey toward each other and the biracial child they create. This book describes those 28 years, and her life.

Vaswani has also authored a memoir, You Have Given Me a Country. The book follows the paths of Vaswani’s Irish-Catholic mother and Sindhi-Indian father on their journey towards each other and the biracial child they create. She is the recipient of the American Book Award, an O. Henry Prize, the ForeWord Book of the Year gold medal, the Nautilus Book Award gold medal, an Audie Award, and many other honors. She is also co-author the Middle Grade novel-in-letters, Same Sun Here.

Her new book, You Have Given Me a Country, is a blend of history, memory, myth, and Cultural Studies. Neela Vaswani: Definitely. Moving away from the protective mask of fiction was a real adjustment. But oddly enough, the hardest part about writing nonfiction has been reading it in public–standing up at a podium, looking out at the crowd, and thinking They know this is true because I just said so!

Neela Vaswani is the author of the short story collectionWhere the Long Grass Bends (Sarabande Books, 2004). Recipient of a 2006 O. Henry Prize, her fiction and nonfiction have been widely anthologized and published in journals such asEpoch,Shenandoah, andPrairie Schooner

Neela Vaswani is the author of the short story collectionWhere the Long Grass Bends (Sarabande Books, 2004). Henry Prize, her fiction and nonfiction have been widely anthologized and published in journals such asEpoch,Shenandoah, andPrairie Schooner. She lives in New York City.

2010 ForeWord Book of the Year, EssaySilver Medalist, 2011 IPPY Awards in Multi-Cultural Adult Fiction2011 American Book Award

“Vaswani is a confident writer whose unflinching eye shows the reader the beauty grounded in the mundane.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Vaswani’s voice is witty, sharp, innovative, unique.”Chitra Banerjee

You Have Given Me a Country is an emotionally powerful exploration of blurred borders, identity, and what it means to be multicultural. Combining memoir, history, and fiction, the book follows the paths of the author's Irish-Catholic mother and Sindhi-Indian father on their journey toward each other and the biracial child they create. Neela Vaswani's second full-length work thematically echoes such books as The Color of Water, Running in the Family, or Motiba's Tatoos, but it is entirely unique in approach, voice, and story. The book reveals the self as a culmination of all that went before it, a brilliant new weave of two varied, yet ultimately universal backgrounds that spans continents, generations, languages, wars, and, at the center of it all, family.

Neela Vaswani is the author of the short story collection Where the Long Grass Bends (Sarabande Books, 2004). Recipient of a 2006 O. Henry Prize, her fiction and nonfiction have been widely anthologized and published in journals such as Epoch, Shenandoah, and Prairie Schooner. She lives in New York City.


Comments: (7)

Ueledavi
Wad for school
Prinna
The words are as beautiful as the author herself. This reads like a finely crafted book of art, masterfully painting the many heritages of Neela Vaswani into a single portrait. Excellent!
Hono
What does it mean to grow up as the daughter of an Indian Father and Irish American Mother? The author explores the pull of her two heritages, but the emphasis is on the lesser known heritage of her Indian father.
Anen
Great memoir. Read the book in a couple of days. Well written but not too artsy. I would recommend to others.
Xarcondre
Those who enjoy learning about other people's journeys through life, will find this memoir a very interesting read. The story of how a bi-racial, multi-cultural child comes of age and moves through adulthood is told with humor, pathos, and acceptance of the world as it is and the family to which one is born.
Hawk Flying
I thought it was written very well and I learned quite a bit about the family. I knew them from BNL.
Ttyr
Neela Vaswani's memoir begins and ends in airport terminals. From New York to New Delhi, two journeys at two different times in life, 28 years apart. This book describes those 28 years, and her life as a unique mixture of two different races and cultural backgrounds.

She writes chronologically, and reveals not just her parents separate lives, but even further up the family tree. She explores the history of her mother's Irish Catholic family, with an assortment of memorable characters, all devoted to their city and their "tribe". She mentions her Irish aunts dancing on a roof over their Italian neighbor's apartment, just to annoy them. They lived big, loud, and frequently rough lives. They and their extended neighborhood formed their world, one they seldom ventured from. Then she delves into her father's past in India, and how his family had lived. The lifestyle was more quiet, devoted, and respectful. Eventually her father, a physician, immigrates to the US, bringing his heritage with him.

All of this collides, naturally, when her parents marry and she is born. A mixed race child doesn't have it easy in any culture, whether in the US or India, and she details her youth with anecdotes that are sometimes funny but often painful. Discrimination and prejudice are everywhere, which I found amazing considering this was relatively recent history (she was born in 1974). Her parents experienced a different sort of discrimination that Vaswani did, and she shows both types of experience. Sometimes people were being ignorant, but often it was intentional, in a time when a `hate crime' was not investigated or taken seriously. The author shows how, even after they married, her parents still had a place that they fit into, in their respective homelands. But as a child of both, she had no real place of her own.

Vaswani's writing is filled with details: a little girl babysat by her Indian grandmother, neither able to share a language but still able to laugh together and bond. A Bombay hospital that blacks out its windows in wartime with cut up x-ray films. The details dramatize the book and make it feel personal. Additionally, there were some bits of history thrown in that were new to me. I never knew that the Cinncinnati Reds changed their name to "Redlegs" during the Red Scare of the 1950's to avoid being linked with communism. And I had no idea that India and Pakistan experienced a Partition similar to that of Ireland, one that created a wider religious division between the two nations after its placement than before it.

The first half of the book was especially enjoyable, as the author stayed tightly on the path of her family. I got a bit bogged down in the second part of the book, as she (at times) seemed to get on a soapbox and broadened her commentary a bit too wide to feel like a memoir. It felt preachy and political and lost steam at some of these points. While her story is authentic, I felt like she hadn't achieved the authority to speak on all issues she attempts to address. All said, it's a wonderful example of the complications still found in our multicultural society. In fact, I think this title would be an excellent text for a class to study, just to illuminate the world outside the neighborhood and comfort zone.
Neela Vaswani's "real and imagined" memoir is a tour-de-force of one woman's struggle with (and celebration of) her mixed identity. Vaswani takes us inside her struggle and celebration with lyrical and highly descriptive writing. Mixing personal narrative, imagined moments, historical facts, and her own journey from little girl to new wife, she stakes her claim for her own, unique identity - one she can finally (at long last) accurately reflect on the 2000 Census Form. This is a beautiful book and a satisfying journey for the reader. (Full disclosure: Ms. Vaswani teaches at Spalding University's brief residency program in Writing, the program where I earned my MFA in Writing. I had one, one-hour cross-genre session with her during my first residency in 2008.)
You Have Given Me a Country: A Memoir download epub
Social Sciences
Author: Neela Vaswani
ISBN: 1932511822
Category: Politics & Social Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences
Language: English
Publisher: Sarabande Books; 1 edition (August 1, 2010)
Pages: 256 pages