On the Outside Looking Indian Rupinder Gill, 2011

Somewhat self-indulgent and narcissistic, this easy-read memoire, occasioned by Gill turning 30, offers humourous moments but isn’t really FUNNY because of the telling and touching insights she provides into growing up as an outsider in a ‘white’ culture felt and into the rigidity of her parents’ Sikh belief system.

The best part of the book? Gill sets a 5-part agenda to live experiences denied her as a child by her factory-worker parents: go to camp, own a pet, learn to swim and to dance, and visit Disney World. For this odyssey, she quits her job, lives in NYC (Brooklyn) for a couple of months and predictably returns home with the notion of a way forward to free her creative self, fuelled by endless childhood hours watching TV and junk food binges with her siblings.        6.5/10

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