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Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion

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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  350 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion, edited by Piyali Bhattacharya, is the first anthology to examine the multiple facets of daughterhood in South Asian American families.

The voices in this volume reveal how a Good Girl is trained to seamlessly blend professional success with the maintenance and reproduction of her family’s c
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Paperback, 212 pages
Published September 28th 2016 by Aunt Lute Books (first published May 10th 2016)
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Indigo Crayon
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing anthology of personal stories (on "obedience and rebellion"). There's just something so wonderful about feeling seen and heard; this is something everyone who ever hears me talk about this book will get tired of hearing, because it's what I've said every time I've said anything about this book to anyone. All of the stories struck me, they were heartbreaking, sometimes funny, poignant, healing. Some that I felt particularly close to really resonated with me. I feel like I real ...more
Sabrina
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was an interesting read. All 26 stories are written by women, a few Muslims, mostly Indian/Pakistanis, and some queers. I think the title of the book is a little misleading. However, there was a lot of truth written within these pages that many South Asian girls/women will be familiar with. I would LOVE to read an anthology like this but full of stories by Muslim South Asian women that I could relate to more, so if you know any, please recommend :)
Sruthi Narayanan
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 50-in-2017
I am *incredibly* grateful to this book for putting so many of my lived and personal experiences in writing. Even those essays with an occasional clumsy sentence were, to me, perfect in their imperfection. Fellow South Asian women, get your hands on a copy of this ASAP.
Ashish Uppala
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
everyone should read this book
Kim Ammons (youthbookreview)
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic anthology, equal parts heartwrenching, funny, and illuminating. So glad I read this.
Priyanka
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly grateful to have read such a book.
Mills College Library
305.48914 G6462 2016
Manisha
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
what an awesome anthology.
Joy
Feb 14, 2020 added it
I don’t really feel comfortable rating people’s personal essay’s about their lived experiences, but it was an enjoyable read.

Full review:

I think the book is overall empowering and eye-opening, however, I did see some problematic aspects and some things that I had misconceptions about. For starters, I wasn’t able to relate to the essays as much as I thought I would because this felt a little dated, in the sense that all the authors seemed like full-on millennials (i.e. now in their late 20’s and
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Allie
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Finally, a real conversation with my father, finally I'm good enough.
He leans forward. "So, when are you guys having kids?"

I am shocked. "I just got married. To a Parsi. When will you stop harassing me?"

His face lights up. "You don't know the order of things? After marriage, there is a child," he counts on his finger. "Then the second child. Then doing your children's navjote ceremony so they can be proper Parsis, then getting the children married. To nice Parsi boys, don't forget," he laughs. "
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Nuha
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
In between the stories of teen angst, surprisingly supportive parents and a fair number of lesbian love tales there's a fair bit of representation in this book in terms of sexuality, religion, caste, etc. However, there could be more especially in terms of socioeconomic status. It felt like a book firmly for middle to upper middle class Indians, namely those whose parents migrated post 1965 with multiple degrees and a steady source of income.
Zainab Younus
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Last night, I was able to attend the book launch in San Francisco for "Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion."
The book is an anthology of personal essays written by desi women - women who did *not* marry doctors, women who *don't* fit the "good girl" mold... women who, for all their rebellion against the cultural dictats of 'respect,' 'obedience,' and 'honour,' still find themselves aching for the loss of their families' love and acceptance... no mat
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Shamu Wilson
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. I think it’s a great read for first-gen South Asian women. It touches on a lot of issues that are considered taboo in South Asian culture: sexual orientation, non-traditional careers, abuse, and more. And some of the essays were fantastic. But many of them did not live up to my expectations.

For example, in one of the essays, a woman spends the whole time explaining how she didn’t see herself following her fathers wishes to marry young, and wanted to stay s
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Ben Truong
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ben by: Joce (squibblesreads)
Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion is an anthology of essays (mainly narrative and descriptive essays) about the expectations and the result of these expectations of daughters in South Asian American families. It is a collection of approximately thirty real life situations written by various South Asian American female writers from various walks of life and depth of life experiences.

Perhaps I'm being overly sentimental writing this review, but I r
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Annah
An anthology of South Asian American daughterhood. Honest and courageous representations—you can feel the grit in the writing. Variously hilarious, devastating, shocking, and familiar, these essays were such compelling reads.
Shelley
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I read the Foreword and Introduction, my thought was, "YES! This!" Battacharya does an incredible job summarizing what it means to be a Good Girl as a South Asian Woman. I moved into each of the stories. I couldn't quite relate to the first few stories in the book, but about a third of the way though the stories, I thought they became stronger and more relatable. There are some sweet and light hearted stories, there are also other stories that are difficult to read because of the content. T ...more
Suchita Rastogi
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
The narratives told in this collection of essays are important for the world to hear. Our generation of first generation South Asian women is a confused and conflicted one, and only now do I fully appreciate that we really are caught between two cultures, simultaneously enamored with and disillusioned by both, unsure of where we belong or what belonging even feels like. I give this piece three stars not as a reflection of the book's power or its ability to evoke thought and emotion - it has an a ...more
Nisha
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I started this book expecting something easy to relate to, but ended up with something even better. 26 authors sharing their own immigrant parent relationship stories, opened my eyes to see that each woman has a very different experience. Some of the voices, resounded with my own life, while others were so far out - they made me a little uncomfortable. But being uncomfortable is a good thing in this circumstance. There is no other way we step into someone else's shoes, otherwise.

The challenge wi
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Alisha
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a South Asian American daughter (via the Caribbean) I absolutely loved this collection, and I applaud the writers for their courage and willingness to share their (our) stories and some of the secret thoughts we even don't want to admit to ourselves we've had. A poignant glimpse at how some women process societal and familial pressures - some uplifting, some humorous, but always honest - as we struggle to reconcile our immigrant roots with our American-ness.

I would highly recommend this book,
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Anastasia Pereira
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much. Simultaneously heart-warming and heart-breaking, I applaud the courage of each of these women, who were brave enough to share their deeply personal stories. I laughed. I teared up. I felt indignant. I felt angry.
And had a sense of understanding that amidst the frustration and hate that brings about rebellion: there is love. This compilation has perfectly captured the struggles and realities of daughters of South Asian immigrants living in North America amidst the 70s a
...more
Sara-Jayne Poletti
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Given the nature of this collection, some stories were beautifully written and others weren't executed with the same level of skill. But even though I connected with some more than others, this was definitely an eye-opening read that I strongly recommend. I certainly walked away from this book with a deeper understanding of South Asian culture and the unique struggles of WOC, immigrants, LGBTQ women, and more.
Dina Samimi
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an eye-opening anthology filled with female writers grappling with ideals of self-discovery, resistance, acquiescence and bravery. Though these stories are particularly affecting for Desi women, you mustn’t be South Asian to appreciate the nuances and heartache of navigating the immigrant experience and living in the crosshairs of conflicting worlds. We can all benefit by delving into these experiences, whether for release or connection.
Sharmin
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it
A solid collection, though rather unrelentingly sad. I would have preferred some funnier stories. As it generally goes with collections of personal essays, some of them really resonated and others were uninteresting to me. I'm really glad this anthology exists- it's nice to hear voices that so clearly reflect my own experiences.
Aditi
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I really enjoyed this book. Not all of the stories spoke to me, but I really appreciated that this book existed and told the stories of South Asian-(North) American women, who rarely have a narrative based on them in popular fiction and non-fiction. Would definitely recommend this book to women of South Asian origin and anyone who knows and cares about them!
Lubna
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A solid collection of essays by a variety of South Asian American women (Muslim, Hindu, Indian, Pakistani, etc) on a variety of topics - from love to activism to career. I appreciated the variety of subjects covered and that the focus just wasn't on "It is so hard to be a brown woman! Our parents are the worst!" but was much more nuanced. Overall, a good read.
Marguerite Richards
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this book. Each story shines a new light on the challenges of living between two worlds, and the expectations placed upon first generation South Asian women living in the west. Stories reveal the burden without ever denigrating the source. I love that. Our relationships with our parents are never easy. There can be so much strife and at the same time, so much love.
Sujata
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wish this existed when i was younger

I so wish this collection had existed when I was growing up or even in my 20s. Excellent stories and memoirs by a wide range of south Asian writers. Highly recommend.
Kristen
A refreshing read from Desi women of all walks of life. A series of stories from women of South Asia, dealing with homosexuality, mental health, abuse, etc. A wonderful compilation, one that I couldn't put down.
Simran Kaur-Colbert
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Powerful story tellers whose writing will help many know they are not alone with the challenges/consequences many Desi womyn must overcome/face. This anthology is a tool for empowerment, healing and self-acceptance.
Samaa Ahmed
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really nice. A few beautifully crafted, unique stories, but most of them quite predictable. Predictable isn't necessarily bad, though. It's always great to read stuff by Desi feminist writers, so I really appreciate this collection for that reason.
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Piyali Bhattacharya is Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University where she teaches and writes fiction and nonfiction. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Literary Hub, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and elsewhere. She is the editor of the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion (Aunt ...more

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