By Monica Ali
(Scribner, Paperback, 9780743243315, 432pp.)
Publication Date: May 25, 2004
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"A book you won’t be able to put down. A Bangladeshi immigrant in London is torn between the kind, tedious older husband with whom she has an arranged marriage (and children) and the fiery political activist she lusts after. A novel that’s multi-continental, richly detailed and elegantly crafted." –Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Sisterland
After an arranged marriage to Chanu, a man twenty years older, Nazneen is taken to London, leaving her home and heart in the Bangladeshi village where she was born. Her new world is full of mysteries. How can she cross the road without being hit by a car (an operation akin to dodging raindrops in the monsoon)? What is the secret of her bullying neighbor Mrs. Islam? What is a Hell's Angel? And how must she comfort the naïve and disillusioned Chanu? ?
As a good Muslim girl, Nazneen struggles to not question why things happen. She submits, as she must, to Fate and devotes herself to her husband and daughters. Yet to her amazement, she begins an affair with a handsome young radical, and her erotic awakening throws her old certainties into chaos.
Monica Ali's splendid novel is about journeys both external and internal, where the marvellous and the terrifying spiral together.
Monica Ali has been named by Granta as one of the twenty best young British novelists. She is the author of In the Kitchen, Alentejo Blue, and Brick Lane, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She lives in London with her husband and two children.
Los Angeles Times
At once sophisticated and innocent, compassionate
Anne Tyler I was bowled over by Monica Ali's Brick Lane.
The New Republic Splendid....Daring....Brilliant....Refreshing....Brick Lane is a great achievement of the subtlest storytelling.
The Boston Globe Brick Lane is as crisp and urgent as a headline....But the true pleasure of this wonderful novel comes from its timeless sense of wonder and affection for the haplessness of human nature.
Chicago Star Tribune Beautiful and intensely readable.