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On the Outside Looking Indian: How My Second Childhood Changed My Life Paperback – Bargain Price, May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; Reprint edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594485771
  • ASIN: B00BQ9ZR5M
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,113,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In this terrifically funny and engaging memoir, Rupinder Gill sets out to do the things that were forbidden during her ‘typical Indian’ adolescence. In the process, she begins to understand her identity as a daughter of immigrants, and to figure out what she truly desires for her own future. Gill’s narration is full of wit, longing, and so-bad-it’s-good 80s nostalgia; reading this book is like going on a trip with a great new friend.”—Bich Minh Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha’s Dinner

“Rupinder Gill has written a hilarious book about childhood longings and coming to terms with the family you've been dealt.  I truly enjoyed this book.”—Mishna Wolff, author of I’m Down    
 
“Rupinder Gill is like a one-woman Truth and Reconciliation committee, humanely—and hilariously—squaring her strict Indian upbringing with the hardly less rigorous challenge of learning to stand on her own two feet.  Deeply funny, deeply fresh, and deeply fair: the memoirist's sacred trinity. All hail!”—Rachel Shukert, author of Everything is Going to Be Great
 



“An honest . . . humorous account of growing up the child of Indian immigrants. . . . Throughout, Gill writes about her parents in a balanced way, presenting them as neither angels nor demons. The tone is lighthearted, and Gill is a heroine to root for—relatable, imperfect and prone to both success and failure. . . . A lighthearted read.”—Kirkus

About the Author

Rupinder Gill's writing has been published in the National Post and the McSweeney's website. She has written for CBC Radio and Canada's This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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She is witty and self-deprecating in the way she writes.
AV
She realized then that goals were something she could really achieve, a step at a time.
Story Circle Book Reviews
Also, I rarely sit down and read a book for leisure, so I really enjoyed it!!!
Liz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Burt Bondy on May 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has ever thought to themselves that it's too late to learn or experience things as they got older will find this book inspiring, but it's the author's sense of humor that kept me turning the pages. In addition to the jokes there are some heartwarming moments I think everyone can relate to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AV on May 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
I could not stop laughing out loud when I read it. I like the author's sense of humor. She is witty and self-deprecating in the way she writes. It reminded me of 'my big fat Greek wedding' in some ways. I totally relate to her experiences of being the child of strict immigrants and I also missed out on a lot of childhood and teenager experiences with my friends. Her book inspired me to do those things now! I bought a copy for my BF who is also Indian and she says the author's story describes her and her cousins' childhoods growing up in the US. But, really anyone could relate to the idea of feeling like an outsider at some point in their life. I respect how she used those experiences to move on in her life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on January 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you've ever wished you could return to your childhood to recapture some of the experiences and activities you didn't get to do, you will meet a kindred soul in Rupinder Gill. One of five children in a first generation American family from India, Gill was raised as girls are in her ethnic land, which is to say dramatically different from her American peers. The rules of Indian adolescence were numerous, she tells us: "...you cook, clean, babysit, clean, get good grades, clean, be silent, clean, and don't challenge your parents in any way, especially while cleaning." While her peers were spending their summer vacations at camp, swimming, boating, traveling with their families, and having sleepovers with their friends, Gill and her sisters were hanging out with each other at home, not allowed to take music, swimming, or other lessons, not allowed to talk on the phone with boys, and only very briefly with girls, and not allowed to have a family pet. So the siblings watched TV when they had free time, often viewing "The Cosby Show" and other family shows, which further reinforced how far outside of American family life they were.

Gill's family was comprised of four daughters until the birth of her brother, Sumeet, when she was twelve. "The birth of a boy in an Indian home could most closely be compared to winning the largest lottery in the world and then accidentally creating an immortality potion from a mixture of 7-Eleven Slurpee flavors." She then watched his life unfold as she had wished her own could have. Boys could swim at the pool, and do most of the other activities that girls were not permitted to do.

After college, Gill entered the work force, and years passed as she worked hard at a job that benefitted others more than herself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Viviane Crystal VINE VOICE on June 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Welcome to the world of an Indian-American family whose values center on hard work, housekeeping at home and in one's career job after childhood. It's a world where parents are selfless and totally dedicated to children but it's a very narrow world. Rupinder humorously describes her world which sounds like a litany of "what i want" followed by multiple negative responses. So no movies, no sleep-overs, no mall trips, no long empty telephone conversations, etc., etc. But Rupinder has a novel point of view! She lies when she has to and she sets her heart on making a list of what she will do when she finally gets the chance!

What follows is a funny description of all the things she finally gets to do in her early thirties. Tennis and swimming are disastrous at first attempts but on she forges. No, she doesn't wind up in the Olympic USA team for either sport, but she keeps at it until she reaches a level of success that she's content with. How about having a dog; seeing the "bleep storm" from her friend's dog makes her realize that it's not all roses in achieving one's desires. The same goes for her dream of going to New York, a risk she takes by quitting her job in Canada. Dancing, Disney World and so many more dreams come true - finally!

Without being moralistic, Rupinder realizes many things during her new "play" and "make your dream come true" times. Does she reject them? Not at all! What she does realize is that they aren't 100% joy, there's something one learns in each, and they all evoke memories of her own childhood that take on a new element of preciousness now that those years are far from her present.

On the Outside Looking Indian is a simple yet potent story about coming of age from a different cultural point of view.
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By Meg LaComfora on March 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this was a great fast read. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. The author is delightfully hilarious
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By Mrs. Bird on February 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. It made me want to go back and relieve some of my childhood. I am just like Rupinder, I never really learned to swim! It was a good clean read, which I value highly in this 50 shades world....
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not only funny - it's inspirational. Rupinder tells the reader, through hilarious personal stories, that it's never too late to become the person you've always wanted to be. Definitely recommend!
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