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Mumbai New York Scranton: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Tamara Shopsin , Jason Fulford
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $25.00
Kindle Price: $16.99
You Save: $8.01 (32%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

An extraordinarily moving memoir from an iconoclastic new talent—an artist, cook, and illustrator whose adventures at home and abroad reveal the importance of living life with your eyes wide open.

Best known for her witty illustrations, and as a cook beside her mischievous father in her family’s legendary Manhattan restaurant, in Mumbai New York Scranton, Tamara Shopsin offers a brilliantly inventive, spare, and elegant chronicle of a year in her life characterized by impermanence. In a refreshingly original voice alternating between tender and brazen, Shopsin recounts a trip to the Far East with her sidekick husband and the harrowing adventure that unfolds when she comes home. Entire worlds, deep relationships, and indelible experiences are portrayed in Shopsin’s deceptively simple and sparse language and drawings.

Blending humor, love, suspense—and featuring photographs by Jason Fulford—Mumbai New York Scranton inspires a kaleidoscope of emotions. Shopsin’s surprising and affecting tale will keep you on the edge of your seat.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

On a trip to India with her husband, Jason Fulford (the book’s photographer), well-known cook and New York Times illustrator Shopsin contracts what she believes to be a terrible case of food poisoning. But she soldiers on through the rest of trip, touring villages and odd museums, like a garden made entirely out of thread. Back in New York, her illness doesn’t go away, and she struggles to discover what’s going on. Her diagnosis is blindsiding, and she masterfully evokes that same feeling of surprise for the reader. Despite the dire circumstances, Shopsin’s dry, staccato sentences are very funny: “Dr. Schorr comes in. He looks so much like Sigmund Freud it has to be on purpose.” Her irreverent illustrations and pithy, whimsical writing complement each other perfectly as Shopsin recounts details that, though not providing a lot of emotional depth on their own, together limn a creative, playful, wry and resourceful woman in a crisis. Shopsin’s compelling and unconventional memoir is terrifying until you realize that, since she’s writing about it, there has to be a happy ending. --Sarah Hunter

Review

"I've been trying to eat my way through Shopsin's menu and realize it's going to be a lifetime endeavor. Now Tamara, Kenny Shopsin’s daughter, has written a sprawling travel memoir that ranges all over the planet and which I finished the same day I started reading. Slinging simple declarative sentences that hide sounding depths, and speaking in a quiet voice that you realize too late is the hum of a jet engine, you'll race to Mumbai and back before you have time to process the ride. But oh man will the memory linger." (Patton Oswalt author of Zombie, Spaceship, Wasteland)

“Shopsin tells us this story in a terse, true manner. A beautifully illustrated memoir full of love, with no bullsh*t.” (Maira Kalman, author of And the Pursuit of Happiness and The Principles of Uncertainty)

“Sometimes a friend gives you a piece of writing and you are terrified to read it because what if it turns out your friend is a terrible writer? This was a particular concern with Tamara Shopsin, for not only is she a friend, but a brilliant designer, illustrator, cartoonist, and short order cook whose work in all these areas have long delighted and inspired me. So I am very relieved to report that MUMBAI NEW YORK SCRANTON is as virtuosic as her pancakes, which is to say: perfect, meaningful, and astonishing.” (John Hodgman, author of That is All)

“Tamara Shopsin writes like she illustrates—wry and succinct, with judiciously placed punch. She scatters Hansel and Gretel-style crumbs of fantastic, compelling memoir in woods of travelogue. Mumbai, New York, Scranton is muscular, efficient, understated, and surprising.” (Gabrielle Hamilton author of Blood, Bones and Butter)

"This (true) story is as dramatic as they come, complete with twin sister, eccentric father and the love of a good man. But because Shopsin is so fundamentally uninterested in being flashy, she gets our attention by not trying to get our attention. Mumbai New York Scranton gathers momentum secretly, accruing emotion entirely through food, art, furniture and the achingly mundane details that any survivor will recognize. Could not. Put. It down." (Miranda July author of No One Belongs Here More Than You and It Chooses You)

"A charming, rewarding,and unusual narrative." (Publishers Weekly)

"Shopsin’s dry, staccato sentences are very funny. Her irreverent illustrations and pithy, whimsical writing complement each other perfectly as [she] recounts details that… together limn a creative, playful, wry and resourceful woman in a crisis. Shopsin’s compelling and unconventional memoir is terrifying until you realize that, since she’s writing about it, there has to be a happy ending." (Booklist)

"[Shopsin's] wholly original work defies categorization. Brimming with observations, details, snippets of conversations and photographs by her husband, Jason Fulford, Mumbai New York Scranton is funny, intimate and dear. Shopsin has a laser-like focus for specificity...[her] eye for detail turns the mundane into the sublime and make you want to partake of any adventure she might embark on." (CampusCircle)

"Some memoirs are about travel. Others are about surviving a bigger-than-life family. Many of them are about illness, and the rare memoir gives readers a private glimpse of a marriage that's also a creative partnership. Just like one of the fabled items from her father's menu...Shopsin's memoir does them all. Her spare, present-tense narration is interspersed with her drawings...and Fulford's eerily composed photographs...building a larger world through association. Text and image work together in a marriage of complements. Reading the memoir feels like eavesdropping on Shopsin and Fulford as they collaborate." (New York Times Book Review)

"Mumbai New York Scranton is a fresh, engaging memoir...written in an episodic, stream-of-consciousness style. [Shopsin's] descriptions of life with [her husband] Jason are especially sweet and affecting, while what unfolds after their return to New York is harrowing and tense. Her portrayal of her quirky family, is vivid and loving; as an urban social history spanning the generations, it is sheer pleasure. A terrific and winning memoir, a love letter to a city and a family. Shopsin can add writing to her list of talents along with drawing, crafting, cooking and her egg-cracking prowess." (Shelf Awareness)

Product Details

  • File Size: 8222 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (March 12, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J4KYYG
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,406 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(17)
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curiosities, family, and pain March 18, 2013
Format:Hardcover
There are beautiful moments in this memoir of a woman juggling intense physical symptoms, a curiosity of the world, and the love of her career and family. Tender and simple descriptions of moments with her husband are beautiful and the best writing is in these snippets. Now we can add writer to the list of her talents which already include visual and culinary artistry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Following my (Netflix) viewing of the documentary 'I Like Killing Flies' I came across Kenny Shopsin's talented, illustrator, author and Dad's sidekick cook and twin daughter, Tamara Shopsin's awesome land and life travelogue/Blog on paper cum diary entitled 'Mumbai, New York, Scranton'. It's a book which ought to have been prefaced by Paul Theroux, author of the starkly, refreshingly honest 'The Pillars of Hercules' , a litany of the true horrors (and a few joys) of a circumnavigation of today's Mediterranean. Whether it was Tamara's style, honesty (especially her willingness to share her 'vulnerabilities' during a worrying and painful time), humor, commentary, all of the above and more, this is the only book that, as far as I can recall, that I've never been able to put down until it was finished. You'll probably end up feeling Tamara is family
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quirky and wonderful July 26, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this for the second time- within a month of reading it the first time. I NEVER do that with a book. Shopsin's illustrations, photos and writing work seamlessly together, to create one of the most unique books I have ever read. Her writing is so very present. She inspires me to stop and really look at life- our relationships, where we live, people around us, food, and on - with lots of curiosity, generosity and then humor automatically follows. I love her sensibility.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars like reading your SMART best friends Diary. June 4, 2013
By Leeseh
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After a few jarringly intense reads, this was just what I needed: A gently written memoir that allows you to know it's author, the code writer/cook/designer Tamara Shopsin and her photojournalist husband Jason Fulford. There are photos and illustrations tossed in and her style is very much like an open journal. Simple, sparse but well chosen words glided me along. Now here's the deal: you MUST see the documentary about her family's infamous NYC restaurant Shopsins. The doc is called I LIKE KILLING FLIES and gives you all the backstory you'll need to understand a deeper dimension of this cool little book.
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Format:Hardcover
This is a beautifully poetic look at Tamara Shopsin's travels and unlikely battle with illness. It's unlike any book that I've ever read before, and Shopsin deftly manages to say a lot in few words with the addition of some beautiful photographs. If you enjoy memoirs and can appreciate graphic design, I recommend this book, and I hope that the author writes a follow-up!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of those books that you don't want to end. January 13, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I wish this book kept going. I eagerly await more writing from Tamara. Excellent design and layout, too. Good job, Tamara.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it! October 27, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was a refreshing, honest and sort-of kooky book with a serious twist. The title was the hook! Mumbai, Ny, Scranton! What is that all about!?
I enjoyed it more than lots of other books I have read this year.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected pleasure August 6, 2013
Format:Hardcover
The title caught my eye.

A great variety of topics and feelings in a brief, quick, entertaining and moving read.

NYT said: "Some memoirs are about travel. Others are about surviving a bigger-than-life family. Many of them are about illness, and the rare memoir gives readers a private glimpse of a marriage that's also a creative partnership. Just like one of the fabled items from her father's menu (look up "mac 'n' cheese pancakes" online some time), Shopsin's memoir does them all."
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