Tanuja Desai Hidier: Born Confused

Tanuja Desai Hidier

Born Confused is a coming-of-age story with an ABCD female protagonist, Dimple Lala, an aspiring photographer living in New Jersey, and is set both there and in New York City, largely in the context of the burgeoning South Asian club scene. The heart of the book is about learning how to bring two cultures together without falling apart yourself in the process.

It is also about what happens when the "suitable boy" your family chooses for you turns out to actually be suitable--due to his sheer unsuitability. And the complications that ensue when your best friend in the world begins to appropriate your culture --and then you try to get it back from her--with unexpected results.

A principal theme in Born Confused is family: the one you are born into and the one you choose, and the moment when these two become one.

And the power of music: the way it really does make the people come together.

I¹m particularly excited about it all because I don¹t believe this story--the coming of age of the ABCD in America--has been told in novel form in quite this way, putting into question the very term itself. I believe this book fills a real vacuum‹it did for me simply by writing it‹and is at the same time a very American story.

[Postcolonial] [Indian Subcontinent] India OV

Last modified: 20 August 2002