Sarah's Reviews > Shopping for Sabzi

Shopping for Sabzi by Nitin Deckha
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Jun 23, 12

Read in June, 2012

For the most part, I really enjoyed reading this. It offers perfect bite-sized insights into the South Asian second generation immigrant experience. The use of the short story medium is not bad. It has a lot of characters who aren't particularly likeable, and I think that's what gives the book its originality and honesty.

I started to feel, however, that the book was only representing certain kinds of male and female characters, to the point that they started seeming typecasted. They seem thoroughly whitewashed, more assimilated than integrated with their environments in the U.K. and North America.

Also, a whole bunch of stories near the end of the collection had NOTHING to do with Indianness as far as I could tell as they had no overtly "brown" characters, let alone "brown" second-generation immigrant experiences. (Although maybe there was a point being made in having it that way? Hard to say.) Plus, besides the possible issues regarding representation, there were a couple of stories that didn't really do it for me.

Still, a fairly good book. Those who enjoy Jhumpa Lahiri's work will like this, methinks, as long as they're in for less intergenerational ethnic conflict and more intrapersonal/privileged people conflict. Just don't expect anything too plot-driven. Enjoy the writing and the glimpses into the characters' minds and lives.
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