BIOGRAPHY

Missed Translations: Meeting the Immigrant Parents Who Raised Me

Dey St: HarperCollins. Apr. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9780062936769. $27.99. MEMOIR
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Deb is a comedian, reporter for the New York Times, and formerly estranged son with a hilarious reckoning to share. His memoir centers on the Bengali immigrant parents who raised him in New Jersey. After coming to the U.S., Deb’s father returns to India, leaving his mother and son behind. With Deb’s father gone, he and his mother begin to drift apart. The memoir follows Deb as he seeks to build new relationships with his parents after growing up proudly Hindi, briefly idolizing whiteness, and, later, embracing his Bengali heritage again. Along the way, readers get insight into his stand-up career, forays into talk therapy, dating life, and experiences covering the 2016 election as a reporter of color. The book moves quickly through time and space, but Deb’s comic genius and strong heart ground the narrative. His writing style is plain, confessional, and filled with laugh-out-loud passages about everything from memories of his childhood to learning to accept his insecurities as an adult. Perhaps most impressive of all, Deb addresses firsthand experiences of ignorant racism with wise humor.
VERDICT A delightful memoir of people and place that will draw in Deb’s fans and attract plenty of new ones.

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