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Brick Lane: By the bestselling author of LOVE MARRIAGE

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Monica Ali quietly documents the harrowing scenes of 9/11 as seen by millions the world over. Chanu is mesmerised, glued to the TV, and his rants have an ominous foreboding of the Islamic extremism that has become pervasive. His wife, Nazneen, is bewildered, such is her detachment from the outside world. It is events like these that begin to dispel the stillness that she previously inhabited.

She also memorizes the time when her mother died. Her aunt Mumtaz told her that on that day, her mother had worn her best sari. Nazneen wonders why her mother wore her best sari. Ron Rash is renowned for his writing about Appalachia, but his latest book, The Caretaker, begins ... Splendid...Daring...Brilliant...Refreshing...A great achievement of the subtlest storytelling' New Republic

With her next novel, Ali returned to the broad ‘condition of England’ sweep and energised migrant environment of her debut. As the title suggests, Into the Kitchen (2009) used the hotel restaurant in central London as one microcosm from which Ali could range broadly over her now familiar themes of national identity, family and belonging. Scenes from this setting are set against the very different world of a northern mill town where the father of Gabriel Lighfoot, the London chef, is living out his last days. Chapter 2 presents Dr. Azad, the enigmatic doctor who becomes Chanu's unlikely friend. Nazneen is often bewildered by their friendship; what is the tie that binds this odd couple?

Pereira-Ares, Naomi, " Fashion, Dress and Identity in South Asian Diaspora Narratives: From the Eighteenth Century to Monica Ali": Palgrave Macmillan. The author's powers of observation are magnificent, placing Ali among Britain's greatest writers, never mind young or old' Spectator The thing about getting older is that you don't need everything to be possible any more, you just need things to be certain.” Ali could have been forgiven for mining this highly popular world of bustling multicultural London for the rest of her career. Instead, she surprised readers and critics with her second novel Alentejo Blue (20006) by turning to Southern Portugal and slowing the pace of her narrative greatly. As with her debut, a varied cast is drawn upon. It includes British expatriates and local Portuguese inhabitants of the village, and is written predominantly in the third person as each chapter moves from the perspective of one character to another. The break from the third person comes with Chrissie and Eileen’s chapters. These are two British women who have separately settled for unhappy domesticity and the act of giving them first person voices may be interpreted as a means to show that they are counteracting their earlier deference to others. Ali opposed the British government's attempt to introduce the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. She discussed this in her contribution to Free Expression Is No Offence, a collection of essays published by Penguin in association with English PEN in 2005.

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Ranasinha, Ruvani, "Contemporary Diaspora South Asian Women's Fiction: Gender, Narration and Globalisation": Palgrave Macmillan. What of the film? After Prince Charles's refusal to watch it at the royal film performance, the initial announcement of a "diary clash" was swiftly followed up by a Clarence House spokesman explaining that it was also because the content of the film wasn't "appropriate". It's difficult to fathom what is not "appropriate". The film that Sarah Gavron has made is a sort of feel-good movie - an examination of love in all its different guises. In content it is in no way controversial or political. Or, rather, it is political only in one very particular way: the story is told from the point of view of a marginalised voice. Accepting that that voice can be every bit as rich and nuanced, individual and interesting as any other is profoundly political in a society which too often measures its minorities in banner headlines.

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