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All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India by [Rachel Manija Brown]

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All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 32 ratings

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


Adolescence is never easy, but add a move to a foreign country, immersion in a fringe "spiritual community" and attendance at a school where your classmates throw rocks at you, and it becomes downright disturbing. In this quirky, frank coming-of-age memoir, television writer Brown deftly recounts her childhood spent in an ashram in India in the 1980s, as the only resident child in a community of (mostly) Westerners who worshipped Baba, a self-proclaimed leader of a vague spiritual "way of life." Brown, known to her parents as Mani Mao, spent her days at Holy Wounds of Jesus Christ the Savior School, the recounting of which is initially quite humorous, but soon takes a turn for the worse as readers realize the unending physical and emotional abuse Brown endured due to her foreign status. (A particularly funny scene occurs when Brown returns to India years later and is chased in her car by children who throw rocks. "Had their older siblings passed down the Legend of Mani Mao?" Brown wonders.) While extensive on the depictions of "Baba," whom Brown never met nor felt any connection to, this is a poignant memoir that reflects a painful time with wit and insight. --Publisher's Weekly, 6/27/05

"Reads like a novel and lingers in the mind"--Kirkus

Library Journal Review /August 2005
Oct. 2005. c.349p. ISBN 1-59486-139-0. $23.95. AUTOBIOG Less a travelog than a childhood memoir, Brown's book is a witty account of growing up on an ashram in India. On the surface, life is anything but funny. The ashram is peppered with, well, kooks. Brown (the erstwhile

"Mani") has stones thrown at her by her classmates at the local Catholic school, her teachers hit her, and her parents eventually divorce. And then there are the mysteries: was her mother abused as a child, was their guru really God (or just someone who thought he was), why does the ashram librarian growl outside her bedroom window? Mani copes through it all by reading and trying to emulate Indian warrior-heroes throughout history.

Above all, what sees her through a traumatic childhood is her gift to tell a good story. Like David Sedaris with his accounts of growing up in a dysfunctional family, Brown, who received an MFA in playwriting from UCLA and has written for television, the stage, and print media, allows the reader to laugh and wince at the same time. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Lee Arnold, Historical Soc. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Like humorists Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris, Brown taps into the terrain of her unusual--and, at times, unsettling--childhood for this engaging debut. In the early 1980s, seven-year-old Brown, a self-described misfit whose nose was forever poked in a book, was towed by her hippie parents to Ahmednagar, India, home to followers of the late Meher Baba. (The longtime guru to rock singer Pete Townsend, Baba is also credited with the cloying quote, "Don't worry, be happy.") As the sole foreign child in a backwater town, young Brown's encounters ranged from curious to chilling: beatific disciples, kooky pilgrims, and mean-spirited classmates who hurled rocks at her. Brown, now an award-winning television writer and playwright in Los Angeles, intermittently flashes forward to document her life after escaping the ashram at the age of 12, a narrative strategy that slows the pace of the book. But her mordant accounts of her Baba-worshipping mother and daily life in India (from its blistering heat and belligerent bugs to taxi drivers who clean their windshields with baked potatoes) enlighten and delight. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Publication Date : October 17, 2006
  • File Size : 2308 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 352 pages
  • Publisher : Rodale Books (October 17, 2006)
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • ASIN : B00AY70ZJA
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.8 out of 5 stars 32 ratings

Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5
32 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2013
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