A sheltered Pakistani girl is sent to America by her parents, with unexpected results: “Entertaining, often hilarious . . . Not just another immigrant’s tale.” —Publishers Weekly
Feroza Ginwalla, a pampered, protected sixteen-year-old Pakistani girl, is sent to America by her parents, who are alarmed by the fundamentalism overtaking Pakistan—and influencing their daughter. Hoping that a few months with her uncle, an MIT grad student, will soften the girl’s rigid thinking, they get more than they bargained for: Feroza, enthralled by American culture and her new freedom, insists on staying.
A bargain is struck, allowing Feroza to attend college with the understanding that she will return home and marry well. As a student in a small western town, Feroza finds her perceptions of America, her homeland, and herself beginning to alter. When she falls in love with a Jewish American, her family is aghast. Feroza realizes just how far she has come—and wonders how much further she can go—in a delightful, remarkably funny coming-of-age novel that offers an acute portrayal of America as seen through the eyes of a perceptive young immigrant.
“Humorous and affecting.” —Library Journal
“Exceptional.” —Los Angeles Times
“Her characters [are] painted so vividly you can almost hear them bickering.” —The New York Times
Again demonstrating her remarkable ability to convey adolescent emotions, Sidhwa paints an entertaining, often hilarious portrait of 16-year-old Feroza Ginwalla's adventures in the U.S. Feroza's parents (members of the family readers will remember from The Crow Eaters ) send her here from an increasingly fundamentalist Pakistan in 1978, hoping exposure to worldly ways will soften the girl's conservative attitudes. Feroza's uncle Manek, a student at MIT, guides her through a breathtaking carnival of glossy magazines, designer jeans and deodorants. Although shy, Feroza is temperamental, strong-willed and eager to learn. She enrolls in a small Idaho college; her extracurricular education includes learning how to cope with decrepit apartments, furniture from the Salvation Army, a libidinous roommate, a friend who steals from her to support his drug habit, bland cooking and street language. When a romance with an American man misfires, Feroza realizes that she alone can heal herself and that she has grown to love her new country despite its flaws. Not just another immigrant's tale, this chronicle of a strong, intensely alive young woman's emotional growth is gripping.