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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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    Aug 20, 2024 | ISBN 9780593443002

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    Aug 22, 2023 | ISBN 9780593442982

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  • Aug 22, 2023 | ISBN 9780593786420

    571 Minutes

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“In this vulnerable and courageous memoir, Prachi Gupta takes the myth of the exceptional Indian American family to task . . . [her] resilience and her hope to be fully seen are an inspiration in both personal and political terms.”The Washington Post

“She explains better than any writer I’ve ever encountered how conflicts that may appear low-stakes—such as an argument over grades or extracurriculars—can tear open an unnavigable gulf. She does this while loving, and grieving, her formerly close family.”The Atlantic

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.”—Scott Stossel, national editor of The Atlantic and author of My Age of Anxiety

“I read it in one sitting. Wow. It aims right at the tender spot where racism, sexism, and family dynamics collide, and somehow manages to be both searingly honest and deeply compassionate.”—Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere

“[Prachi] Gupta has penned one of the most gripping blends of memoir and reporting, writing a book whose page-turning is compelled as much by masterful macro-level storytelling as by memoir.”Jina Moore Ngarambe for Guernica

“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

“Self-directed and accomplished . . . For readers interested in complicated, thoughtful and beautifully written family stories that explore the cost of the model-minority myth, this book is as good as it gets.”BookPage

“Passionate . . . [Gupta’s] startling candor and willingness to confront painful truths make this sing. Readers who’ve broken free from toxic family dynamics—or are hoping to do so—will want to check it out.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

They Called Us Exceptional is a heartfelt memoir of love and dysfunction, an indictment of the premium America places on exterior markers of success, and a careful exploration of the legacies of institutionalized racism, family illness, and constrictive ideals of gender.”Booklist

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