Aparisim Ghosh comes close to explaining why fiction from Asia can elicit such dramatically different reactions in the West and back at the family homestead in a review of Brick Lane: “For those with no personal experience of the book’s central milieu — London’s Bangladeshi community — it might seem a spicy treat, full of colorful, richly detailed characters and aromatic atmospherics… But if you’ve grown up on a diet of Bengali and British-Indian literature, Ali’s debut is little more than a lentil broth, warm and easily digested, but predictable and lacking in flavor.”

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