9780385410724 / 0385410727

Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee


Publisher:New Press



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About the book:

Tania, Sunita and Chila have been close and somewhat unlikely friends since their schooldays. Sunita, a former law student and activist, married her university sweetheart Akash, and is settled, unsatisfied, into a life of overweight, underappreciated motherhood. Tania, top girl fighter at school, is a raven-maned beauty, who's rejected marriage and anything traditionally Asian, for a high-flying TV career and a compliant Indophile boyfriend called Martin. And then there's Chila. Innocent, kind, funny qualificationless Chila, with her glass animal collection, considered backward by her family, has just, to everyone's amazement, snared Deepak--the richest, most eligible bachelor within a 50-mile radius.

Writer, comedienne and actress Meera Syal, author of the prize-winning Anita and Me navigates her characters through the emotional rollercoaster of the coming-of-middle-youth--the time when the real growing up is done--with her trademark wit and sensitivity. From the bitching at the celebration--"Now the sister is howling. I'd howl if I had a moustache like hers ..." to the heavy embroidery and tears of a traditional Indian wedding, via the "artistic" wedding photos and " 'about seventeen hours of video," Chila sighed, "all with Hindi love songs on them and those fancy Top of the Pops effects.' ", through infidelity, TV documentaries and betrayal, Syal regales the reader with the strengths and limits of female friendship.

By the way, if you're pregnant and have set your heart on natural childbirth, avoid pages 72-3. Or else book that elective casaerian and cocktail of drugs. Now. --Lisa Gee

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