The Girl from Foreign: A Memoir

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9780143115779: The Girl from Foreign: A Memoir

A search for shipwrecked ancestors, forgotten histories, and a sense of home

Fascinating and intimate , The Girl from Foreign is one woman's search for ancient family secrets that leads to an adventure in far-off lands. Sadia Shepard, the daughter of a white Protestant from Colorado and a Muslim from Pakistan, was shocked to discover that her grandmother was a descendant of the Bene Israel, a tiny Jewish community shipwrecked in India two thousand years ago. After traveling to India to put the pieces of her family's past together, her quest for identity unlocks a myriad of profound religious and cultural revelations that Shepard gracefully weaves into this touching, eye-opening memoir.

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About the Author:

Sadia Shepard is a documentary filmmaker and writer who lives in New York City. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1997, from the Graduate Program in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University in 2000, and began her work with the Bene Israel community of India while on a Fulbright Scholarship. This is her first book.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Who is Rachel Jacobs? the 13-year-old asks her Muslim grandmother Rahat Siddiqi; that, Nana tells her, was my name before I was married. Thus does a grandmother's stunning reply and a granddaughter's promise to learn about her ancestors set Shepard's three voyages of discovery in motion: her grandmother's history; the story of the Bene Israel (one of the lost tribes of Israel that, having sailed from Israel two millennia ago, crashed on the Konkan coast in India; and her own self-discovery (her mother was Muslim, her father Christian, and her grand mother Jewish). Shepard balances all three journeys with dexterity as she spends her Fulbright year, with an old hand-drawn map and her grandmother's family tree, unraveling the mysteries of Nana's past while visiting and photographing the grand and minuscule synagogues in Bombay and on the Konkan Coast. A filmmaker, Shepard writes with a lively sense of pacing (her year proceeds chronologically, interspersed with well-placed flashbacks) and a keen sense of character (getting to know her friend, escort and fellow filmmaker Rekhev as gradually as she does, or capturing the Muslim baker who makes the only authentic challah in Bombay in a few strokes). Shepard's story is entertaining and instructive, inquiring and visionary. (Aug.)
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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A search for shipwrecked ancestors, forgotten histories, and a sense of home Fascinating and intimate, The Girl from Foreign is one woman s search for ancient family secrets that leads to an adventure in far-off lands. Sadia Shepard, the daughter of a white Protestant from Colorado and a Muslim from Pakistan, was shocked to discover that her grandmother was a descendant of the Bene Israel, a tiny Jewish community shipwrecked in India two thousand years ago. After traveling to India to put the pieces of her family s past together, her quest for identity unlocks a myriad of profound religious and cultural revelations that Shepard gracefully weaves into this touching, eye-opening memoir. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143115779

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A search for shipwrecked ancestors, forgotten histories, and a sense of home Fascinating and intimate, The Girl from Foreign is one woman s search for ancient family secrets that leads to an adventure in far-off lands. Sadia Shepard, the daughter of a white Protestant from Colorado and a Muslim from Pakistan, was shocked to discover that her grandmother was a descendant of the Bene Israel, a tiny Jewish community shipwrecked in India two thousand years ago. After traveling to India to put the pieces of her family s past together, her quest for identity unlocks a myriad of profound religious and cultural revelations that Shepard gracefully weaves into this touching, eye-opening memoir. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143115779

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