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Meatless Days

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  29 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
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 11th 1991 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1989)
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101st out of 104 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 504)
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Jay Z
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.
Grady McCallie
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
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Joan
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
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Mike Hayden
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.
Saira
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?
Rebecca
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
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.
Lisa
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.
Avinash
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!
Pooja
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.
Charlotte
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.
C
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".
Rose
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.
Rachel
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.
Ke Huang
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
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.
Viveka
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
An amazing collection of autobiographical essays that would take you to Pakistan of 60s and 70s.
Fozia
Excellent autobiography and memoir of a turbulent time in Pakistan's first 30 years.
Fatima Ali
language is the essence of this book as well as to our lives
Nika
parallel history-telling through memories of food, smell, relations.
Saima
May 23, 2009 Saima rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
What a gifted writer. I only wish she'd write more!
Anu
A book that changed everything.
Stephanie
It was WONDERFUL.
Sarah
I didn't really read this book. I like the title, I love the cover photo. But it read like a book written by an academic for academics. After a few chapters I felt no motivation to understand what she was trying to say or why. I couldn't sympathize with her character or her judgements of the potentially more inviting characters she introduces and then neglects.
Farrukh Pitafi
Splendidly written
Zainab Masood
Zainab Masood is currently reading it
Dec 24, 2014
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