October 6th 2011

Too Asian, Not Asian Enough by Kavita Bhanot

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There are some terrific stories here that suggest a bright and diverse future for British Asian fiction

Patrick Neate, Financial Times

Consistently high-quality writing gives a completely different perspective on the British Asian experience. Warmly recommended

Daily Mail

A rewarding collection


The anthology of 21 stories begins in thrilling fashion with an introduction by the editor, Kavita Bhanot, that is impassioned and provocative . . . The writers deserve praise for ignoring the predictable subjects

Sarfraz Manzoor, Guardian

“Born or brought up in Britain, we suffer at the hands of oppressive parents. These comical or villainous figures hold us back from the pleasures of Western life: they don’t let us drink alcohol or eat meat; they force us to wear suits or keep top-knots. They want us to have arranged marriages. When we resist, they resort to emotional blackmail or physical force.”

This perspective has become a cliché dominating British Asian narratives, argues editor Kavita Bhanot. It has become ‘a bankable, marketable formula,’ and it is stifling to a new generation of writers who don’t want to conform to its conventions. The contributors submitting their stories knew they would not be told they were ‘Too Asian, or not Asian enough’.

From this freedom comes a startlingly diverse and original range of stories. A collector of hair arrives at a European village and a frightened traveller wanders the twilit streets of Jerusalem; an argument erupts at a cocaine-fuelled party and a miniaturist unwittingly precipitates the downfall of David Beckham; a jilted lover takes a foodie revenge on his ex-wife and a nosy grandmother takes spying on her neighbours too far . . .

Here is an anthology of twenty-one stories – funny, shocking, moving, thought-provoking – in which writers such as Gautam Malkani, Nikesh Shukla, Niven Govinden and Bidisha sit alongside thrilling new voices published for the first time.

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