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They Called Us Exceptional by Prachi Gupta
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They Called Us Exceptional

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They Called Us Exceptional by Prachi Gupta
Hardcover $28.00
Aug 22, 2023 | ISBN 9780593442982

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They Called Us Exceptional is a marvel: a searingly honest memoir that manages to be at once a scalding indictment and a heartfelt love letter. In its descriptions of the struggle to live authentically across two cultures, Gupta’s book evokes W.E.B DuBois and Maxine Hong Kingston; in its exploration of how family psychopathology and cultural history entwine themselves across generations, it calls to mind Gabriel García Márquez and Salman Rushdie. And in telling the story of her family’s wrenching private travails behind the public successes, Gupta has proven herself exceptional in at least two regards—as a woman of formidable resilience and as a writer of outsized talent.”—Scott Stossel, national editor of The Atlantic and author of My Age of Anxiety

“In holding up to the light the received ideas of success, and in examining with boundless love the secrets and sorrows of one family, Gupta shows us the life-altering power of telling one’s truth.”—Megha Majumdar, New York Times bestselling author of A Burning

“What happens when a person discovers that the American Dream is a virus? Gupta’s stunning and devastating debut contorts genre—existing as a disquisition on Asian American assimilation into the West, a bird’s-eye view of how patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy congealed to destroy a family, and a coming-of-age tale about a woman who had to fight to make space for her voice.”—Damon Young, author of What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker

“A memoir so honest and intimate, I felt I ought to look away. Gupta blasts through the imprisoning phrase Log kya kahenge—‘What will people say?’—and brings us into her life and her home with awe-inspiring courage, nuance, and intelligence.”—Diksha Basu, author of The Windfall

“Gupta has penned a gripping memoir that considers immigrant aspirations and tribulations alongside the heavy generational trauma of an immigrant parent leaving behind the known and the loved. With grace and dexterity, Gupta bravely interrogates not only the obvious but also the seething emotional territory that lies just beneath . . . A remarkable book that is both lyrical and brave.”—Rafia Zakaria, author of Against White Feminism

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