American Betiya

By Anuradha D. Rajurkar,

Book cover of American Betiya

Book description

A luminous story of a young artist grappling with first love, family boundaries and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship. Perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, Erika Sanchez and Jandy Nelson.

Praise for American Betiya
A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2022
A YALSA Best Best Fiction…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked American Betiya as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Much as the young adult phase of life is defined by establishing your unique identity, separate from that derived by your school, community, or family, for South Asians this is always a dilemma. South Asians are brought up with very strict parental controls, even though they might want to break away, at a psychological level, they struggle with the idea of sub-consciously pleasing their parents because their own identity is so intrinsically linked to that of their parents. Anuradha explores these very bold, disturbing, and realistic themes that send her protagonist, Rani through an inner journey of emotional turmoil.

From Reenita's list on South Asian young adults.

Anuradha Rajurkar's American Betiya is the young adult contemporary novel I needed growing up as an Indian American teenager. It was effortless to relate to Rani Kelkar's journey amidst love and heartbreak to Indian culture and the racism that often follows, sometimes from the most unexpected places. Her coming-of-age is characterized by the staples of the genre, but also transcends the tropes it is founded upon. American Betiya focuses not on what defines Rani's journey, but Rani herself, which makes for an incredibly compelling read that connects you to the characters instantaneously. And honestly, it was so refreshing to see…

When Rani Kelkar secretly dates the tattooed, charismatic, artistic Oliver—her mother’s worst nightmare—cultures collide. This exquisitely written novel explores appropriation, identity, and self-respect. Bigotry can show its ugly head in micro-aggressions and Anuradha Rajurkar does a phenomenal job illuminating this form of hatred. An eye-opening and thought-provoking novel, readers will recognize that sometimes speaking up for oneself is one of the most important ways to fight against bigotry, hatred, and injustice.

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