A Novel by Monica Ali
- Monica Ali was born in East Pakistan to a Pakistani father and a British mother. When she was three years old, she and her family moved to Bolton, England.
- Brick Lane, her first novel, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. She has written three other novels: Alentejo Blue, In the Kitchen, and Untold Story.
Other Immigrant Narratives:
- Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee, Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat, and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Books similar to Brick Lane:
- “Bangladesh’s bloody history under Partition and during the War of Independence, read Tahmima Aman’s novel A Golden Age, which tells the story of a family torn apart by the political events of the time” Zadie’s Smith’s White Teeth, which chronicles the everyday lives of immigrants living in London, focusing on the intersections of British and African, Asian, and Caribbean cultures
- The protagonist of Brick Lane was born in an East Pakistan village in 1967 Prior to the Bangladesh Liberation war In 1971= the nation won its independence but suffered devastating famine and political turmoil + a series of military coups
- 2001= the narrative mostly takes place in 2001 It concerns events in a Muslim immigrant community IN LONDON
- Before and after the World Trade center tragedy
- The narrative reveals how Nazneen wins her autonomy and her nation’s status as the fourth largest textile exporter
- Nazneen is born = a fated sign that her mother (RUPBAN) connects to endurance by means of passive acceptance Nazneen is different in the beginning from her sister HASIA Hasia= is a free spirit who follows her passion Nazneen is separated from her family
- She is relocated to London through an arranged marriage to a man nearly twice her age
Nazneen’s husband= Chanu
- At the age of 18, Nazneen prepares her 1st dinner party for DR AZAD Dr Azad= a friend of her husband, CHANU Chanu- a Bengali immigrant who has lived in London for decades
- While Nazneen prepares for her 1st dinner party- she receives a letter from Hasina
- Hasina has news of her passionate marriage to her teenage boyfriend, with whom she fled the village (gossip about a fallen woman who just plunged to her death)
- Nazneen adapts to her new environment She settles into the routine of the young wife of a Bengali immigrant She throws away the debris of her husband’s corns She puts up with his snores
- There is a birth of a son The baby dies in infancy despite his parents efforts to have him healed Western medicine versus fate Friendship with jovial RAZIA
- This is important part of Nazneen’s development The 2 women build a strong friendship
- A release from her persistent tension Reading letters from her sister Her sister has constant news of the ups and downs of her passionate affairs
- Nazneen cherishes the letters as a window to another world, a world of desire forbidden to her as a dutiful wife in an arranged marriage The specter of the fallen woman hangs over NAZNEEN as she adapts to life in her new environment Nazneen’s mother RUPBAN’s body was discovered leaning low over the sacks of rice, “stacked through the heart by a spear.” Their mother is the FALLEN WOMAN, haunting the sisters, marking their lives through her tragic and unforeseen suicide
- THE MYSTERY SURROUNDING THE LITERAL PIERCING of their mother’s heart drives the plot As a youth, Nazneen never questioned the details of her deathlike why she was wearing her best sari, though it wasn’t a holiday and why her aunt MUMTAZ never spoke to her father afterwards The narrative passes the years through Hasina’s letters Nazneen gives birth to 2 girls + Hasina falls into homelessness
- 2001+ Entry of Karim The story reaches January 2001 Chanu comes with computer and sewing machine (tools of technology)- this give Chanu and Nazneen entry into the wider world This bounty comes at a priceNazneen learns from RAZIA that they will never be able to escape Mrs Islam Mrs Islam- who loaned them money Nazneen is torn between saving money for her sister and paying debt to a usurer Chanu says he has a new job driving a taxi Karim = a new middleman Karim and Nazneen become lovers