A hilarious and poignant novel about an Indian exchange student’s year at a small American university
— An engaging look at the clash of Indian culture and an America that is both harsh and exhilarating to a smart but naive foreignerGopal arrives in America from a small town in India prepared for study but decidedly unprepared for the cultural differences he encounters. This delightful novel chronicles the religious, vegetarian Gopal’s comic adventures and misadventures in the land of hot dogs, Coca-Cola, neon lights, and explicit advertising.
Gopal’s frequent frustration with the language and his shocked reaction to certain curious American customs are amusing and pertinent. From his first rude encounter with an alarm clock that sends him ducking for cover to his blushing mishap with his appropriately named American friend Randy, Gopal’s experiences prove to be a lesson for all on the often contradictory customs of America and Americans.
Through his battles with sometimes subtle racism, his own insecurity, and his family’s directive that he will be severely judged should he dabble in America’s enticements, Gopal retains a gentle dignity and surprising shrewdness, arousing the affection of friends, colleagues, teachers, and most of all, readers.