World, Other World
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I was also disappointed that both revolved around the Indian-American family lusting after hometown white dudes, but that could also be a significant part of the immigrant experience I just couldn't relate to. Read this one if you're looking for some engaging variety in your gay novels!
No Other World
Mehta's first novel, after his award-winning short story collection, Quarantine, fulfills the promise of his shorter work. Although it contains some well-worn tropes from both the gay coming of age novel, and the Indian immigrant in America story, there are enough fresh and interesting details to lend it some uniqueness.
Some structural and temporal wonkiness for example, Prabhu is introduced as coming to America due to his grief over his wife dying in childbirth, leading one to believe his son Mehta's first novel, after his award-winning short story collection, Quarantine, fulfills the promise of his shorter work.
Some structural and temporal wonkiness for example, Prabhu is introduced as coming to America due to his grief over his wife dying in childbirth, leading one to believe his son is newly born - only to learn several chapters later that the boy is actually 10 at the time and an annoying withholding of information so it can be revealed at the most opportune time, prevented this from being a full 5 star read for me.
Also, the most intriguing character, the young transgender 'hijra' Pooja, isn't introduced until the final section Feb 07, Shweta Keswani rated it it was ok. The book is extremely outdated The climax Absolute waste of time. Mar 15, Sivan rated it did not like it Shelves: fiction , lgbtq , race , postcolonial , sexuality , coming-of-age. I wanted to like this book for the plot, but I felt like Mehta's narration spoke too much, gave too much to me.
Personally, I don't like the sensation of being spoon-fed; the characters felt overly explained, in a way that made them two-dimensional and unlikeable. Aug 20, ActiveUSCitizen rated it really liked it. View 1 comment. Jun 07, Andrew Peters added it Shelves: gay-fiction. When I read the Lambda Literary Foundation's review, mentioning a gay, Indian protagonist, growing up in Western New York in the s, I think it took me all of thirty seconds to buy it on iTunes. So beyond the literary merits of Mehta's debut novel, the story was a bit of a homecoming for me.
I also appreciated the complicated portrait of the main character Kiran he gets the most scene time, and is cited as MC; though it should be noted, this is a story of many rotating narratives. I've certainly read many gay coming of age novels, portraying both the cruelty and self-loathing of gay adolescence, as well as those that explore the intersectionality, double jeopardy, "spoiled identity" of LGBT teens of color.
Mehta captures that dilemma, that journey in a brutal, insightful and honest manner that I have not seen before, which I think makes his novel a real accomplishment. For him, his actions were self-preservationist, preemptive.
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The reason Kiran wanted nothing to do with these Indians was because he believed—and he believed this in the deepest place of his heart—that if they knew him, really knew him, they would want nothing to do with him. For me, it left me not understanding and relating fully to some of the characters, as well as feeling like both "past" and "present" weren't fully explored. As an example, and I many be dense here, but a repeated riddle of the story - why is young Kiran staring at a neighbors house every day after school? While it's true that in rural areas, people have to cover a lot of distance in their daily lives, I didn't quite buy it in this case, driving two hours for groceries or to go to the mall?
Jul 19, Ming rated it liked it.
This book was a mixed-bag. The climax was anti-climatic. More troubling: the colonial mentality, that when there was a choice for a romantic interest, every time a white person was preferable. This occurs in at least 3 instances.
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There are a few beautiful passages: Over the years, Bharat sometimes wondered what his life might have looked like had they immigrated. Now, in Kiran's room, he was collecting clues not only about his American cousin but about his own alternate American self. Even after th This book was a mixed-bag. Even after the entire wall had been replastered and repainted, Kamala felt sure she could see the faint outline of where the window had been.
Kamala's mother might have thought she was filling a hole, but for Kamala she was creating one: a constant reminder of what was once there even if what had been there was itself a hole to begin with. The cousins left their mark on the land, their blood in the dirt, their sweat slicking the trunks and branches and boughs of climbed trees. Their histories were inscribed here, the double helixes of the DNA vining up, across, around every bit of land, indelible reminders for Kiran of the glorious World of Cousins in which he'd spent his youth. Kiran's first glimpse of Bharat was of him on the platform, slumped in such a way that it seemed to Kiran that it was just a matter of time before gravity had its way and made Bharat fully and forever part of the pavement.
But when Kiran approached, Bharat's whole body transformed. He rushed toward Kiran, smiling an enormous smile, and took Kiran's hand, took his whole arm, shaking it firmly, almost maniacally. Kiran recognized in Bharat's huge eyes a state Kiran himself knew well: desperation.
Feb 06, Erinn rated it really liked it. Read for review for Adult Books for Teens.
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Really beautiful. Jun 10, cheryl rated it liked it. This is a story about family, culture, and identity. Kiran is born to a couple who immigrated to America from India in search of the American dream.
In some ways, they have it. They are doing fine and living in a nice town in Western NY, but Kiran feels like he doesn't quite belong. He questions how he fits, both in his nation and in his own home. The book also introduces us to the uncle who stayed behind in India and eventually to his son as well, providing the reader different eyes on the stor This is a story about family, culture, and identity. The book also introduces us to the uncle who stayed behind in India and eventually to his son as well, providing the reader different eyes on the story.
Although Kiran is the protagonist, we also see stories he doesn't, including his mom's brief affair and his cousin's struggle during his brief visit to the U. As Kiran grows and becomes aware of his own identity as a gay man, other questions arise that make the study in identity even broader.
I liked the roundness of the characters here. We see imperfections and secrets and we see how even those who look at ease feel a bit lost. I enjoyed this book, but it didn't stay with me much beyond the last place. I also felt like a few of the storylines This DID feel real at many points and I think it would connect on a deeper level with first-generation Americans and also with those who know what it feels like to be gay in a culture that won't utter the word. Three and a half stars. Provided to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Jul 14, Sulagna Mondal rated it really liked it Shelves: owned-books. Kiran growing up in a homophobic society, to exploring his sexuality, his dynamics with his family and him hitting his teenage angst, the story aptly mirrors the life of a millennial. We get to see how Kiran's life transforms and he evolves into the person he is due to a series of events. His Indian-born immigrant parents, his sister's tragedy, his mother's affair with their neighbour and him exploring his sexuality through someone else's sexual abuse, a broken paternal uncle, the homophobia he faces, everything shapes up Kiran.
I loved how the author shows Kiran's development through the incidents occurring in the lives of people who'd ultimately shape Kiran. In a way the book not only focuses on Kiran, but also the people around him, thus creating multiple character sketches and multiple story arcs that are in their own way either devastating or fulfilling. Sep 10, Paltia rated it really liked it. An extraordinarily beautiful smile on R. I am so glad that I made this choice. Choices we make, and then those decisions made for us where we have no choice plays a key role in No Other World.
This book read like there was not a word out of place. The symbolism is just right. The wild mouse who seems to not be able to be caught played against the cuter, harmless pet mouse who ends up a victim; the crows who stand gu An extraordinarily beautiful smile on R. Each character has their own model of the world through which their perceptions occasionally mesh with others. The need for touch, gentle, strong, and even coarse also play into the theme of protection and forgiveness.
This is a luminous story of people dealing with inevitable loss and questions not easily answered. Each must find their own way and in doing so find a measure of peace along the way. Haunting, poetic and deeply moving.