Isbn-10: 1565118294 | Isbn-13: 9781565118294 | Publish date: 29/09/2003 | Edition Abridged
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Monica Ali's gorgeous first novel is the deeply moving story of one woman, Nazneen, born in a Bangladeshi village and transported to London at age eighteen to enter into an arranged marriage. Already hailed by the London Observer as "one of the most significant British novelists of her generation," Ali has written a stunningly accomplished debut about one outsider's quest to find her voice.
What could not be changed must be borne. And since nothing could be changed, everything had to be borne. This principle ruled her life. It was mantra, fettle, and challenge.
Nazneen's inauspicious entry into the world, an apparent stillbirth on the hard mud floor of a village hut, imbues in her a sense of fatalism that she carries across continents when she is married off to Chanu, a man old enough to be her father. Nazneen moves to London and, for years, keeps house, cares for her husband, and bears children, just as a girl from the village is supposed to do. But gradually she is transformed by her experience, and begins to question whether fate controls her or whether she has a hand in her own destiny.
Motherhood is a catalyst -- Nazneen's daughters chafe against their father's traditions and pride -- and to her own amazement, Nazneen falls in love with a young man in the community. She discovers both the complexity that comes with free choice and the depth of her attachment to her husband, her daughters, and her new world.
While Nazneen journeys along her path of self-realization, her sister, Hasina, rushes headlong at her life, first making a "love marriage," then fleeing her violent husband. Woven through the novel, Hasina's letters from Dhaka recount a world of overwhelming adversity. Shaped, yet not bound, by their landscapes and memories, both sisters struggle to dream -- and live -- beyond the rules prescribed for them.
Vivid, profoundly humane, and beautifully rendered, Brick Lane captures a world at once unimaginable and achingly familiar. And it establishes Monica Ali as a thrilling new voice in fiction. As Kirkus Reviews said, "She is one of those dangerous writers who see everything."
(P)ila (come se... said on Mar 14, 2014, 08:29
Complessivamente mi è piaciuto per la trama e le descrizioni degli ambienti ( londra e bangladesh) e dei personaggi, del disagio che provano nel vivere e crescere in Inghilterra, nel quartiere della loro comunità ma devo dire che le lettere(abbondanti) della sorella Hasina, così sgrammaticate che rappresentano l'ultimo vero legame che la protagonista ha con la sua patria mi hanno veramente infastidito.
Inaeugenia said on Apr 24, 2013, 16:24
Dopo un primo momento di entusiasmo mi è scappata la pazienza a pag. 250. La storia di amore con il ragazzo della sartoria non mi ha convinta. Se non fosse stato per l'ambientazione londinese l'avrei forse abbandonato anche prima, ma non c'è come passeggiare in Brick Lane per apprezzare le immagini di un quartiere ormai in grossa misura gentrificato.
lamanu said on Jul 24, 2011, 20:50
SarayEloise said on Apr 18, 2011, 17:17
Ms. Bunbury said on Jul 02, 2010, 15:57
From my Amazon review- I managed to finish this book even if with great difficulty. Great book if you have difficulty falling asleep as it so tedious it helps one to slumber. Starts well but then the first 100 pages become tedious then once I thought it had got interesting it "slowed" down once more and got even more tedious only to "pick up" once more in the last 50 pages or so. I basically agree with what other reviewers who have given one or two stars have written. I found the characters flat and did not care for most of them ( Razia is the only one that I could care for). I am still at a loss why the sister Hasina wrote letters in broken English, sometimes to the point of utter nonsense...was it to show that she was illiterate? Even then she would have written in her native tongue - Bangladeshi and even if her written standards were very low she would have written as she spoke...there would be spelling mistakes and mistakes in using the subjunctive, etc but I have difficulty in believing they would be as they were written by MA Nazneen is irritating, she prays, she acts the servant to her husband, she lives and stays in the community but then has the guts to have an affair with a younger man. (Was this to show rebellion to her status?) and how come despite everybody being a gossip and knowing what was happening in the community her husband Chanu never knew about her going to the Bengal Tigers meetings herself? The book has been over-hyped. There definitely is more interesting literature out there in general. There are also books, both autobiographies and fiction, that deal with the culture clash and immigrants in GB and make a much more interesting read.
Allybally said on May 22, 2010, 09:38
kale51 said on Mar 04, 2010, 22:38
*** This comment contains spoilers! ***
Ho fatto una fatica tremenda a terminare questo libro. Sono quasi 500 pagine di cui, credo, almeno 250 superflue. Per carità, per essere un primo romanzo è fantastico. Ma credo che l'autrice abbia voluto mettere dentro troppe cose, senza rinunciare a nulla. Non ha limato niente. Alcune descrizioni e alcuni episodi sono infiniti, e sostanzialmente inutili alla narrazione. I personaggi si delineano in maniera eccellente grazie a moltissime situazioni, spesso - troppo spesso però - ripetute. E' veramente difficile avanzare fra le pagine, fra i ricordi e i sogni ripetuti... E nelle improvvise accelerazioni che la trama sembra subire, come se l'autrice si fosse stancata di scrivere e rimanere ferma nel tempo, e volesse imprimere una svolta brusca al lavoro. No, devo dire che non sono soddisfatto, anche se è vero, ripeto, che dopo tutto il tempo che ho passato con i personaggi del romanzo li sento un po' vicini, quasi familiari.
Ajmarchi said on Feb 25, 2010, 13:13
Mati said on Jan 27, 2010, 10:37
Noiosetto. Di solito mi piacciono molto le storie di integrazione e che trattano problemi razziali, ma questo romanzo è di una staticità e di una monotonia uniche. E il fatto che la protagonista abbia sposato (non per sua volontà) l'uomo più brutto e noioso del mondo non è riuscito a farmela risultare simpatica. Penoso il carteggio con la sorella (Hasina, ma che nome è?).
Margherita Dolcevita said on Oct 16, 2009, 18:42