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Meatless Days

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  298 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
In this finely wrought memoir of life in postcolonial Pakistan, Suleri intertwines the violent history of Pakistan's independence with her own most intimate memories—of her Welsh mother; of her Pakistani father, prominent political journalist Z.A. Suleri; of her tenacious grandmother Dadi and five siblings; and of her own passage to the West.

"Nine autobiographical tales th
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 11th 1991 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 727)
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Jay Z
Apr 01, 2011 Jay Z rated it it was amazing
Reading South Asian authors who write in English is a necessarily painful experience because both you and they know the audience being addressed. And that affects content and message, leaving you depressed and hopeless beyond belief. This is the only South Asian author I've ever read -- with the exception of Arundhati Roy -- who doesn't do that. If this book wasn't so damn hard to find, I'd hand out copies of it to everyone I know.
Anum Shaharyar
Here is a phrase that comes to mind when I think of Sara Suleri’s Meatless days: complete gibberish. If that’s not effective enough, here is another one: absolute twaddle.

I’d try to convince you that the book wasn’t really all that bad, but then I’d just be straight out lying. Never have I ever spent more time questioning my own reading habits then when I was reading this endless text of drivel and pointlessness. At one point I started reading it only at night before bedtime, so highly was it gu
Grady McCallie
Mar 13, 2012 Grady McCallie rated it it was ok
Shelves: essays
For the right reader, this memoir -- really, a collection of loosely-linked essays -- could be a delight, but I'm not that reader. Suleri's chapters are meandering ruminations on her relatives, their diaspora from Pakistan, their domestic successes and tragedies. I'd seen the book recommended as a perceptive and touching account, from the perspective of a woman, of growing up in Pakistan in the 1960s and 1970s. Some images and turns of phrase are surprising and lovely. Unfortunately, Suleri's ba ...more
Lori Theis

Throughout Sara Suleri’s Meatless Days food functions as the connective tissue that binds together, in one very animated and determinedly introspective corpus, multiple layers of politics, culture, identity, gender, emotions and spirituality. Suleri’s idiomatic commingling of foodstuffs and physical bodies lays out a rich, multi-textured, somatic discourse that not only examines the embodied experience of its narrator, but also that of women, particularly those whose bodies are thought to exist
Nov 15, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Dec 21, 2008 Bethany rated it it was amazing
Farrukh Pitafi
Apr 27, 2013 Farrukh Pitafi rated it really liked it
Splendidly written
Jun 26, 2016 Aqsa rated it really liked it
Suleri's prose flows with lyrical ease and sings the sentiment of that which is familiar. "Meatless Days" possesses a vagrant clarity of thought of the years lived and of experiences which echo a sweet poignancy. There are 9 autobiographical tales, well kneaded and loaded with tenderness, but "goodbye to the greatness of Tom" was the most distinct and one of the best pieces that I have ever read. The task to define the beloved, to define love is quite cumbersome but Suleri miraculously accomplis ...more
Dec 15, 2008 Joan rated it liked it
Shelves: gender, islam
The book is a melancholic memoir about Suleri's family from when she lived with them in Pakistan to present. Each chapter profiles a different person in the family, with one or two extra chapters about important friends in her life.

My main issue with the book is that many of Suleri's metaphors are nearly impossible to understand. Perhaps I have such different points of reference, but there were some sentences I read over and over to no avail. My best guess is that many things have meanings for S
Feb 17, 2015 Rita rated it liked it
Line by line the writing is beautiful, and I felt it could have been adapted into a narrative book of poems. Over all it was an easy read that didn't leave a particularly allegoric impression, instead felt very grounded in Suleri's experiences.
Mike Hayden
Mar 17, 2014 Mike Hayden rated it it was amazing
Truly a beautiful book. Suleri is a master of narrative digression, metaphor and introspection. This is one of the best books I have ever read. Touching, funny, sarcastic and out and out well crafted.
Lexi Jade
Jun 19, 2016 Lexi Jade rated it liked it
Fascinating read but a little difficult to follow.
Nirmala Vasigaren
Apr 09, 2016 Nirmala Vasigaren rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. That's about it.
Sep 26, 2010 Saira is currently reading it
hi this is saira im a student of literature i just read a few assignment of these book i want to know something that a question which is asked by our examiner explain the relation b/w sara suleri and her mother with the reference of this book so i feel difficulty to explain it because i dont read the whole book i dont find it any where so can any body help me on this topic?
Feb 20, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
This memoir is intricately woven and insightful. Some chapters, such as the first, are engaging and humourous, a delightful peek into the intimacy of Suleri's childhood. Other chapters rest on extended metaphors and broad ideas that need to be mulled over by the reader; this is definitely a book you want to go through slowly and carefully.
Madeeha Maqbool
Aug 09, 2011 Madeeha Maqbool rated it it was amazing
Everyone, but everyone, discouraged me from reading this book, The general agreement was (most from those who hadn't read it) that it was too "verbose". Ignoring the reviewers I went ahead and read it. Result: Suleri is my favourite Pakistani writer. I'd recommend this book to anybody, any day.
Aug 08, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
Sara has a wonderful way words, even if her metaphors can be a little oblique at times. This is a lovely memoir of growing up in Pakistan in the 60's and 70's, with stories of her Welsh mother, author/disident father, overdramatic grandma, and many charming siblings.
Aug 10, 2010 Avinash rated it it was amazing
With a wordy scalpel you cut through the people you love, taking everything apart, even your own wordiness. But in spite of your super-ornate prose and high strung sentiment, how you have stolen my heart, Sara Suleri, high priestess of the post colonial memoir!
Jul 07, 2013 Pooja rated it it was amazing
Marvelously inventive with language and metaphor. Sometimes so inventive that I'd lose the thread of her sentences, but I didn't mind. It's a heartbreaking memoir-- intelligent, devoted-- and never gets close to sentimentality. I love it.
Sep 17, 2010 Charlotte rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
After sitting on my dresser for months, I finally got to this autobiography. Can't say I liked it much although I feel like I should have. The language was just too flowery for me. I found it really hard to get through.
Jul 12, 2011 C rated it did not like it
This was a tough one to keep reading. I could not really tell you what it is about. I have no feelings towards the main character. The time line is non-existant. I almost wonder if there is a bit of "lost in translation".
Mar 12, 2009 Rose rated it it was ok
Sara Suleri has a way with prose. This (non-fiction) book is a little spastic in delivery, and I would have liked more of a plot. But her first two chapters are extremely beautiful.

The cover photo is absolutely lovely.
Oct 18, 2015 Lindsey rated it it was ok
If you're looking for some insight into Pakistan, this is not the book for you. It's mostly stream of consciousness with sentences that seem intentionally convoluted, as if difficult to understand = profound.
Feb 22, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it
I read this on holiday with my Mum in Majorca years ago. I needed a dictionary on hand as the language was a little challenging at times, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.
May 17, 2012 Ke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-complete
The author did a great job maintaining themes and describing character.

However, I wasn't a big fan of her metaphors, essay structure and what I believe were her views on gender.
Loreldonaghey Donaghey
I read this as I was escorting a farmer delegation to Pakistan, so I guess it resonated. But, she didn't have to sit in an unairconditioned plane for 12 hours on the tarmac in Karachi.
Benedict Reid
Aug 11, 2011 Benedict Reid rated it it was ok
Trying to be literature a little too hard, so the interesting memories are swamped by lyrical passages which do the opposite of giving a sense of place or time.
May 07, 2013 Viveka rated it liked it
i cannot. in some ways, i really liked this book for the lyrical elegant writing. all the same it just fell away from me, it was impossible to read.
Ayesha U
Jul 23, 2013 Ayesha U rated it it was amazing
An amazing collection of autobiographical essays that would take you to Pakistan of 60s and 70s.
May 28, 2009 Fozia rated it it was amazing
Excellent autobiography and memoir of a turbulent time in Pakistan's first 30 years.
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