I am selling beautiful, first-edition, mint condition, hardcover copies of my memoir, All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: an American Misfit in India, for $12 – fifty percent off the original cover price! If you like, I will autograph yours.
It’s the true story of how I was raised by American weirdos in India. If you recall the abominable Eat Pray Love
, imagine what it might have been like if Elizabeth Gilbert had had a prematurely cynical child whom she’d dragged along with her, and if that child had written her own and much more sarcastic account of the trip.
If you want one, please Paypal $ 12 plus $ 4.50 (within the USA) for shipping/packaging/Paypal costs by hitting the button, or going to Paypal and sending it to Rphoenix2 at hotmail dot com. Please include your mailing address and any special requests, such as autographing. If you’re not in the USA, please email me with your location and I’ll figure out the shipping costs. If you don’t use Paypal, email me and we’ll work something out.
Warning: This book was written about six years ago, which was before I got my consciousness raised about race issues, and has some offensive bits, for which I apologize. (Such as inappropriate comparisons of Indian things to not-really-similar Western or other Asian things.) Some matters related to India were over-simplified, over-generalized, or (as many readers emailed to inform me, complete with corrected Marathi) outright wrong, for which I also apologize. And it’s all about a white girl not having a good time in India, which I don’t apologize for since that’s inherent in the story being about me and my real life, but which many people have already read quite enough about. Also, be aware that there are disturbing scenes of child abuse.
There’s a lot that I like about the book – hey, it’s my baby, of course I love my baby – and it’s as honest about my own experiences as I could make it. It’s nowhere near as depressing as it could have been – possibly not depressing at all - and many people have told me it often made them laugh aloud. (Er, not during the child abuse parts. I hope.) If you liked my series of posts on PTSD
, the book is sort of their prequel. And I could use the cash. But I don’t want anyone to buy it if it’s going to make them feel like they’ve been kicked in the face, hence the warnings.
As I said, the book isn’t really about India, it’s about me; and yet I would be a different me if I hadn’t spent my childhood there.
None of my genetic inheritance is Indian, I can’t speak any of the languages, and I don’t have the experiences in America that an Indian would. I am not Indian, and I have never thought I was. But I can read some of the languages, though not fast or well; I grew up celebrating Holi and Raksha Bandhan, not Passover and the Fourth of July; the only place on Earth I’ve ever known well enough to walk for hours blindfolded and name every landmark, every individual tree with a brush of my hand is the ashram in Ahmednagar; and while I don’t have a single drop of Indian blood in me (metaphorically) I shed quite a bit of my own on Indian soil (literally).
I don’t think this gives me any sort of claim on the country. But I do feel like the country has a claim on me.
As with America, the country with which I do have a relationship of blood and birth, I am full of complicated mixed feelings. I can’t stand my hometown of Ahmednagar (and yet I do think of it as my hometown) but any outsider who disses the entire country to me will face an avalanche of eloquent hostility. And then, halfway through some sentence like, “Have you ever actually been there?” I remember that I’m an outsider too…
That got a bit away from my sales pitch. (I think it was inspired by contemplating Passover, actually.) But if you do want a copy of the book, please email or Paypal me as noted above.
I have locked down comments to avoid a flood of “A sensitive person like you could not possibly write anything offensive to anyone,” which as we all know never ends well. I’d also prefer it if this wasn’t linked in the RaceFail round-ups - all else aside, the discussion is not about me, and this post is explicitly all about me - though I realize that’s not my call to make.