On the Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill

I picked this one up based on someone’s recommendation posted on the cbc reads website after they asked who were Canada’s funniest female writers.

The book describes Gill‘s year-long quest at the age of about 30 to fulfill a list of her childhood dreams — learning to swim, going to Disney World, and living in New York, to name a few. As one of four children raised by strict immigrant parents, she missed out on the quintessential North American childhood milestones and decided to make up for it in a year of her adulthood.

Gill is a great writer. I find that these kind of autobiographical non-fiction books aren’t really my thing, though. I wasn’t wowed. Even though Gill is super talented, and the idea for the year of her life (and thus the subject of the book ) was an interesting one, the book kinda made me think, “They will publish books about anything.” Perhaps part of the problem is that I don’t identify with Gill as an adult. I love nature and books, not TV and junk food.

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One response

  1. I think it’s interesting that Gill says she didn’t have the regular North American childhood because of her immigrant parents. I don’t think that’s quite true. I know a lot of Indian kids who did all those things- I, for one, and my brother and sister and all our Indian friends, took TEN YEARS of swimming class each.

    I generally don’t like when people blame their parents (usually immigrants) for things like that. Sure, maybe we didn’t eat pot roast for dinner, but we’re still North American!

    Probably looking too deeply into this book, though!

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