Get A Life Award

So Brick Lane‘s been out in Britain for almost a year, and now a British group (the Greater Sylhet Welfare and Development Council) is upset that Monica Ali’s book portrays them as “backward, uneducated, and unsophisticated.” They must have been reading a different book. The one I read was a humanistic portrayal of one woman’s transplantation from a Bangladeshi village to a secluded life in Brick Lane and one man’s opinions of his fellow immigrants, contradictions and reverse racism included. (In fairness, there are Bangladeshis who did like the book.) Yes, the chapters with Hasina’s letters (the least successful parts of the book, IMO) made this reader wince, but there was much else I liked. The group goes as far as to use the three words that no South Asian, Muslim, Arab, or Middle-Eastern group should consider using in a letter of protest without due cause: The Satanic Verses. Ugh.