Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Harrowing and Heart-Felt Parsi Memoir

Full disclosure: I am a Zoroastrian, related, on my mother's side, to the Parsis that author Thrity Umrigar writes about in her memoir, "First Darling of the Morning." Which is probably why her book really touched a chord with me. Then again, Umrigar is a wonderful writer -- the book touched a chord in many readers, regardless of their heritage.

May 19, 2004

Memoir details life in a little-seen India

By Lylah M. Alphonse, Globe Staff

Thrity Umrigar has a knack for capturing people's quirks. In her second book, "First Darling of the Morning: Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood," she unflinchingly takes on her own, as well as those of her family, giving readers a vivid glimpse into an unfamiliar part of India's population.

Even now, the popular view of India is one of dusty villages, fiery curries, and religious struggle. But India is much more than that, and Umrigar focuses on the part into which she was born: the Parsi community, descended from people who fled Persia to avoid religious persecution under Alexander the Great. Though many of them today live in diaspora, Parsis form a curious and obscure middle class in Bombay that prides itself on its education and exclusivity. ... [More]

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