Meatless Days Author:Sara Suleri DWN - This extraordanary book takes the form of an autobiographical memoir of growing up during the struggle for Pakistani independence. Sara Suleri's mother was Welsh; her father was Z A Suleri, a prominent Pakistani journalist, on occasion jailed for his writing, and frequentlt at odds with the regime of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. — Through its deft ... more »intermingling of public and private history the book breaks new autobiographical ground. In a series of stories which proceed by metaphor rather than chronology, Suleri recounts her mother's voluntary exile in Pakistan, her sister Ifat's estrangement from her father, her grandmother's love of food and god, the parts her friends play in her life, and finally her own departure for the United States.
But it i8s Pakistan itself which is the most pervasive character in the book, fully-fomed and ever-present, each individual seeming to embody an aspect of its personality. Although deeply personal, "Meatless Days" is also a commentary on the colonial and post-colonial experiences and the persistently political issues of race, gender and language. Suleri writes of a country where 'the concept of a woman was not really part of the available vocabulary', and yet - perhaps because of this - as she explores her country it is women who give her story its greatest celebratory impulse.
The intensity of Sulari's reflections on her own life, her astonishing facility with language, and the sense of elegy and leavetaking - of both family and the colonial experience - which emerge from "Meatless Days" make it one of the the most remarkable modern books to have appeared from Indian subcontinent.
SARA SULERI was educated in Pakista, England and the United States. She is currently (1990) Associate Professor of English at Yale University.« less
Good read - actually a collection of related stories comprising an autobiography or memoir - its hard to place the type of book becasue it is neither a memoir nor a biography, but has all the material to be either.
If you enjoy reading of other peoples and places on the personal level then this one is a fantastic read.