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Monica Ali

Author of Brick Lane

5+ Works 7,171 Members 225 Reviews 5 Favorited
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About the Author

Monica Ali was born October 20, 1967. She is a British writer of Bangladeshi origin. She is the author of Brick Lane, her debut novel, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2003. (Bowker Author Biography)

Includes the names: Monica Ali, Monica Alli

Image credit: Monica Ali Photo: Robin Matthews

Works by Monica Ali

Brick Lane (2003) 5,365 copies
In the Kitchen (2009) 606 copies
Alentejo Blue (2006) 596 copies
Love Marriage (2022) 309 copies
Untold Story (2011) 295 copies

Associated Works

The End of the Affair (1951) — Introduction, some editions — 6,583 copies
Granta 81: Best of Young British Novelists 2003 (2003) — Contributor — 273 copies
Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers (2004) — Contributor — 100 copies
Women on Nature (2021) — Contributor — 23 copies
Brick Lane [2007 film] (2008) — Original book — 13 copies
Refugee Tales: Volume III (2019) — Contributor — 7 copies


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Common Knowledge



British Author Challenge October 2023: Monica Ali & Dennis Wheatley in 75 Books Challenge for 2023 (November 2023)


Award-winning Bengali British author Monica Ali was born in Bangladesh and emigrated to Bolton with her family. Sadly, she has been previously criticized both for her portrayal of Bengali people in England, and then for writing about Princess Diana, presumably because this topic was too white, leading to a long period of absence from writing and loss of confidence. It makes me so cross that in this outrage-addicted world authors cannot write about whatever they choose, after all it is fiction. Happily Ali has picked up her pen again and written this complex multilayered story about two families in London. Yasmin Ghorami is a junior doctor negotiating the rigors of training in the NHS, the inadequacies of the aged care system, and the patriarchal attitudes of her white middle-aged male superiors. Her fiancé Jo Sangster has grown up with his single mother Harriet, a feminist and commentator on sexual politics who likes to shock and draw attention to herself. The story delves into Yasmin’s relationship with her Bengali parents, the embarrassment of a young person trying to fit in, and cringing at their parents’ otherness. Initially Yasmin sees her mother as a narrow-minded, traditional woman who has lived a sheltered life. Eventually she learns to see her mother for the brave and strong woman she is. Yasmin has grown up on the tale of her parents’ love match: her mother, Anisah, the privileged daughter of a wealthy family, and her father, Shaokat the son of a poor family who has defied all odds to become a respectable doctor. With time she learns that all is not as it seems.

The book delves into many areas including sexual addiction, toxic parental relationships, racism, sexism, islamophobia and the deficits in the aged care sector. I enjoyed her subtle, insightful approach to racism and family issues. My only complaint was maybe her research into medicine and psychology did not need to be quite so fully showcased. A valuable and enjoyable book. The audio narration by Ayesha Dharker was also excellent.
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mimbza | 11 other reviews | May 30, 2024 |
Since I had to return this book to the library, I did not finish it and now find I am reluctant to go back, not a gripping tale despite a topic (food) of interest to me.
featherbooks | 42 other reviews | May 7, 2024 |
This is a treasure of a book. ❤️ About how we see ourselves and our families - and about how we can totally not really know the people closest to us.
decaturmamaof2 | 11 other reviews | Nov 22, 2023 |
Here's what I wrote in 2008 about this read: "People from Bangladesh in London. The assimilation & segregation pressures build, and the homeland still beckons. Nice quotation from amazon.com: "If Dickens or Trollope were loosed upon contemporary London, this is exactly the sort of novel they would cook up. --Claire Dederer""
MGADMJK | 127 other reviews | Jul 15, 2023 |



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