Friday, November 14, 2008

The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen by Mitali Perkins

Perkins, Mitali. The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen. New York: Little, Brown, 1993

Until her grandparents come for a year long visit, Sunni’s life is perfect. She has friends. She even has a crush. But her grandparents change that. Overnight, Sunni’s mother transforms from a successful academic into the dutiful Indian daughter. She wears saris and cooks traditional Indian food. Sunni feels like she doesn’t know her own family any more. She certainly doesn’t know who she is.

She tells her Grandfather, “I wish Mom and Dad had stayed in India. Then I would be one hundred percent Indian, like those cousins Didu is always bragging about. Or if I had been born here and had been American—I mean really American—you know, born-in-the-U.S.A. and all that patriotic land-where-my-fathers-died stuff. Maybe then life would be less complicated” (87-88).

To see how Sunni reconciles the two parts of her identity, American and Indian, read The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen by Mitali Perkins.

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