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Missed Translations

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Approaching his thirtieth birthday, Sopan Deb had found comfort in his career as a writer for the... Read More

Product Description

Approaching his thirtieth birthday, Sopan Deb had found comfort in his career as a writer for the New York Times and as a stand-up comedian. But his stage material highlighting his South Asian heritage only served to mask the insecurities borne from his family history. Sure, Sopan knew the basics: his parents, both Bengali, separately immigrated to North America in the 1960s and 1970s. They were brought together in a messy and ultimately doomed arranged marriage. The couple raised two boys in suburban New Jersey before divorcing, after which Sopan’s father returned to India alone—without telling his sons. But as he neared thirty, Sopan had been estranged from his parents for years. He didn’t even know where either one was living, which was only a slight shift from the emotional distance he felt growing up in their home. He never learned who his parents were as individuals—not even the little things like their ages, how they met, how many siblings they had, where they were born, or what they had hoped their lives would be. They were strangers, isolated from one another by the tumult of the household and the cultural chasm between the generations. Coming of age in a mostly white suburban town, Sopan’s alienation led him to seek separation from his family, longing for the tight-knit home environment of his white friends. As the years without real contact with either parent began to mount, the separation gnawed at him. Sopan’s experiences as a stand-up comedian and as one of the few minority journalists covering Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign nudged him to reconsider his relationship with his South Asian heritage and, thus, his parents. Then came a fortuitous wedding invitation, which propelled him on a dramatic journey of reconciliation to India and back in an attempt to bridge the gap between him and those whose DNA he shares. Sopan would see his father—for the first time in more than a decade—in Kolkata, where he would learn to connect with a man he recognized yet did not know. And he would force himself to confront the silence separating him from his mother in nearby New Jersey . . . if only he could first find her phone number. Through his attempts to reach across the cultural divide, Sopan’s exploration raises essential questions of family: Is it ever too late to pick up the pieces and offer forgiveness? How do we build bridges where there was nothing before—and what happens to us, to our past and our future, if we don’t?

Product Details

Title: Missed Translations
Author: Sopan Deb
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9788194752011
SKU: BK0439600
EAN: 9788194752011
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Reading age : All Age Groups

About Author

Sopan Debb is a writer for the New York Times, where he has covered culture and basketball. He is also a New York City– based comedian. Before joining the Times, Deb was one of a handful of reporters who covered Donald Trump’s presidential campaign from start to finish as a campaign embed for CBS News. He covered hundreds of rallies in more than forty states for a year and a half and was named a “breakout media star” of the election by Politico. At the New York Times, Deb has interviewed high-profile subjects such as Denzel Washington, Stephen Colbert, the cast of Arrested Development, Kyrie Irving, and Bill Murray. Deb’s work has previously appeared on NBC, Al Jazeera America, and in the Boston Globe, ranging from examining the trek of endangered manatees to following a class of blind filmmakers in Boston led by the former executive producer of Friends. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for Larger Than Life, a documentary he produced for the Boston Globe. He lives in New York City with his fiancée, Wesley.

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