Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Local Appearance by Author Sadia Shepard

I thought some of you would be interested to know about the appearance of Sadia Shepard at Books & Books in Coral Gables next Tuesday, August 19 at 8pm. Sadia herself is Muslim, but wrote an interesting memoir about her Jewish (Bene Israel) grandmother, who grew up in India and Pakistan. In fact, it's more complicated than that: the grandmother grew up Jewish, secretly married her father's Muslim business partner as his third wife, eventually moved with her husband and his two other wives to Pakistan, and finally ends up living with her daughter in America. The daughter (Muslim) marries a Protestant American guy who converts, and they raise their children (including Sadia) Muslim. So within the household, there are three backgrounds that are all part of their lives: Muslim, Christian, and Jewish. Whew, are you confused yet?

The book is a touching memorial to Sadia's late grandmother, who asked Sadia, as her dying wish, to go back to India and learn about the Bene Israel. The story is told through a combination of flashbacks and Sadia's time in India. While she was there, she did a lot of interviews and filmed footage for a documentary which is just about to start the film festival circuit. I liked the book, although it suffered, as many memoirs do, from a feeling of being unfinished. I guess that's a good thing - since Sadia's life is certainly unfinished!

See for more info.

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