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Bengali Girls Don't: Based on a True Story Paperback – September 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Sari Press (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615520774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615520773
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,810,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Pulls no punches as it tells an extraordinary story that spans the globe . . ."
-- Eastern Eye Newspaper of London 

"I've laughed, cried and relived some of my past through your words. Painfully beautiful."
-- Summer Yasmin, writer and blogger at TwoMangoes.com 

"Will inspire many women."
-- Kunal Trivedi

From the Author

"I hate my life! I hate this culture. I can't go anywhere. Or do any damn thing. I hate it so freaking much!!"
 -- L.A. Sherman, when talking to her mother as a teen. 
 
"Almost every Bengali girl must have said this - - I'm one of them! L.A. really gave a true insight into a Bengali girl's life - - amazing xXx"
 -- Shuhena Mikail Begum, a Bengali-Muslim girl in Sweden

More About the Author

L.A. Sherman grew up in Bradford, England in a strict Muslim family where she learned how to sneak out of the house without making the door creak. At the age of fifteen, she was tricked into going to Bangladesh by her parents and forced to marry a man as old as her father. After four years there with a wicked mother-in-law, she won the visa lottery for America and moved to the Big Apple. Now hard at work on her second book, she lives in Tampa, Florida with her family near a pond full of gators and spends her time doing all the things that Bengali girls don't.

************************

As a side note, I am only the second writer to go by the name L.A. Sherman (that I'm aware of, anyway). The first person was Lucius Adelino Sherman, one of my relatives on my hubby's side. He was born August 28, 1847 in Worcester, Massachusetts and died February 13, 1933 in Lincoln Nebraska.

Believe it or not, Lucius also wrote a book for writers called How to Describe and Narrate Visually: exercises in literary composition, based on principles and examples of the writers art, which can be read for fee online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library.

One more thing: the first Shermans came to the US - - to Massachusetts - - in the 1630s. And yes, I'm related to General William Tecumseh Sherman, Civil War hero; Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independance; General Sydney Sherman, the first person known to have said, "Remember the Alamo!, and Stuart P. Sherman, the famous writer and critic of Henry Louis Mencken

Customer Reviews

A bit hard to follow the characters at times but an enjoyable read just the same.
Midwest lady
I also think the author is having an identity crisis, which is apparent not only in her writing but also in some of her interviews that I've found online.
Nora A.
You will be touched at Luky's search for happiness and a way out of the oppressive lifestyle and culture of her family.
Heather Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Heather Smith on July 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased the downloadable version of this book and could not put my laptop down. I like to read stories about real people and their lives, not just the rich and famous. This book is just that. It is a riveting and inspirational story about the author told in a clever 3rd person.

The first chapter will have you hooked right away with Luky's parents' triumphant flight for life. There are moments in the book I found myself laughing out loud, such as a moment spent in the closet of a family friend peeping at some...let's just say books. There were other times I felt frustrated for her, especially in the treatment she receives from one of her brothers.

You will be touched at Luky's search for happiness and a way out of the oppressive lifestyle and culture of her family. She has included several great photographs of her life in the end as well. The images of her first/forced marriage are hauntingly poignant.

I am familiar with Arabic/Islamic terms, but for those that are not, the times it is necessary for them to be used, she has translated them expertly within the text without taking away from the story (there is also a Glossary in the back).

You will feel Luky's angst and longing to be able to be free to live the life she wants and her ups and downs, then finally her happiness. This is definitely worth the buy and time and I strongly recommend this book!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Pavarti on March 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

LA Sherman's Bengali Girl's Don't is one of the best books I've read this year. It's beautiful, lyrical and full of fantastic insight into the experience of Muslim children raised in Western societies. Sherman's writing is full of depth and beauty, pulling us into the world of the main character: Luky. I am reminded of What the Body Remembers: A Novel by Shauna Singh Baldwin for it's raw intimacy and multi-generational/cultural storyline.

Bengali Girl's Don't is written in third person memoir style and the first half of it is exquisite, full of details from Bangladeshi life that resonate with the reader no matter your personal cultural history. Rahman and Sunia (Luky's parents) live through the revolution and partition of Bengladesh from Pakistan. The personal and political details included in the story make it rich and vibrant. An absolute joy to read.

Rahman and Sunia take their sons (I'm not sure how many, as one of them inexplicably seemed to have two names: Pilton and Saqir) and daughter to England, where Sunia gives birth to a number of daughters. Rahman and Sunia try desperately to raise their children as proper Muslims and Bengalis In their own way it's clear their intentions are good and they wish good things for their children. Cultural standards, aspirations for popularity and the crushing pressure of being the eldest daughter push Luky to a breaking point. Desperate for freedom and individuality, she seeks a reprieve from her parents strictness and abuse in a series of ill fated romantic entanglements.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Barrett on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I read a book.... Any book... I always look for something that will help change people... change people for the better.... You probably guessed that I do not read too many novels... but I do read Novels that have a message..... I have to confess that I do know the Author of this book... whilst we have said hello for over 5 years in passing... I met Luky in a Yoga class and she told me that she has written a book..... I thought... good... I will read the book, I am interested to see what Luky had to share...., I purchased the book and was... actually emotionally stretched... I did not expect what I was reading... after all, I have seen and said hello to this quite, beautiful woman for 5 years... I did not expect read and to be transformed as a human by the all too common life of someone like Luky... Incredible....

Let me explain.... My ex wife is a very beautiful Chinese woman from Viet Nam... much of what Luky related in her book touched so many familiar cords with me...

The bottom line is this.. Luky's story is NOT an unfamiliar story, the mixing of many cultures into one culture... This is our challenge as a world family.... Luky's story re-affirms that we CAN live as ONE...

We need to be open minded... an remember that we are LOVE..... The first part of the book.... As they escaped during the liberation.... Her Father raised her up and said In effect you are the "Icon of our struggle for FREEDOM..."

Interesting... as you read through the book.... Past cultures.... Mixed with Now... and the conflict ensuing ...

I can say that Luky did indeed survive... and is STILL resolving PAST, and FUTURE..... with NOW......

All I can say personally being part of many cultures... LOVE....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Troy Jensen on January 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outstanding read - truly inspirational on nature...made me feel both incredibly grateful to have been born in the United States and every single piece of what that truly means, as well as left me feeling inspired, something I look to often in whatever media I am engaged with (books, movies, TED speeches, etc etc).

It's a captivating read from start-to-finish, with the plot-line moving quick enough so keep me well-engaged, yet left you with enough vivid details - details that color a truly authentic true-life story of courage and overcoming VERY long odds...now THAT is my kind of book. Download or buy it - such a cool perspective on an amazing story, you'll love it!
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