The Girl From Foreign

( 8 )

Overview

In this beautifully crafted memoir, a young half-Muslim, half-Christian woman travels to India to connect with a tiny Jewish community and unlock her family's secret history.

Sadia Shepard grew up in a joyful, chaotic home just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where cultures intertwined, her father a white Protestant from Colorado and her mother a Muslim from Pakistan. Her childhood was spent in a house full of stories and storytellers, where the customs and religions of both ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (44) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $1.99   
  • Used (38) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$1.99
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(16573)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Penguin Press HC, The, 07/31/2008, Hardcover, Brand New! New dust jacket.

Ships from: Frederick, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(3561)

Condition: New
Brand New, not a remainder.

Ships from: San Jose, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.29
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(471)

Condition: New
Brand new. Clean, unmarked pages. Good binding and cover. Remainder mark. Ships daily.

Ships from: Boonsboro, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$11.21
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(218)

Condition: New
2008-07-31 New New Hardcover with jacket, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Personal Service, International Shipping Available. Photos by Request.

Ships from: Saint Albans, VT

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$16.83
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(29)

Condition: New
New York 2008 Hardcover New in New jacket NEW MINT CONDITION.

Ships from: BARRIE, Canada

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$30.18
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(362)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
The Girl from Foreign: A Memoir

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

In this beautifully crafted memoir, a young half-Muslim, half-Christian woman travels to India to connect with a tiny Jewish community and unlock her family's secret history.

Sadia Shepard grew up in a joyful, chaotic home just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where cultures intertwined, her father a white Protestant from Colorado and her mother a Muslim from Pakistan. Her childhood was spent in a house full of stories and storytellers, where the customs and religions of both of her parents were celebrated and cherished with equal enthusiasm. But Sadia's cultural legacy grew more complex when she discovered that there was one story she had never been told. Her beloved maternal grandmother was not a Muslim like the rest of her Pakistani family, but in fact had begun her life as Rachel Jacobs, a descendant of the Bene Israel, a tiny Jewish community whose members believe that they are one of the lost tribes of Israel, shipwrecked in India two thousand years ago. This new knowledge complicated Sadia's cultural inheritance even further, intimately linking her to the faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and to the customs of India, the United States, and Pakistan.

At her grandmother's deathbed, Sadia makes a promise to begin the process of filling in the missing pieces of her family's fractured mosaic. With the help of a Fulbright Scholarship and armed with a suitcase of camera equipment, she arrives in Bombay, where she finds herself struggling to document a community in transition. Her search to connect with the Bene Israel community and understand its unique traditions brings her into contact with a cast of remarkable characters, tests her sense of self, and forces her to examine what it means to lose and seek one's place, one's homelands, and one's history. In the process, she unearths long-lost family secrets, confronts her fears of failure, and finds love in places that surprise her. Sadia beautifully weaves together the story of her grandparents' secret marriage and the haunting legacy of Partition with an evocative account of a little-known Jewish community and a young woman's search for self. The Girl from Foreign is her poetic and touching attempt to reconcile with her family's past and help determine her future. When offered the choice, will she be able to choose among the religious and cultural identities that have shaped her? It is an unforgettable story of family secrets, buried identities, lost histories, forbidden love, and, above all, eye-opening self- discovery.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Carolyn See
Besides being a personal memoir and a portrait of a family that includes the world's three major monotheistic religions, The Girl From Foreign is a meditation on how our individual memories inevitably slip away, either into oblivion or into that dull collective consciousness we call history…what a rich tapestry of theology, art, emotions and forgotten lore she's uncovered! As our personal memories turn into history, all too often the colors are leached from them. But Sadia Shepard tints the colors back in. We see lavish Muslim weddings, Jewish villages hidden in Indian jungles, earnest lovers reaching across religion and culture. The author's laudable accomplishment is that she yanks her grandmother's story from the coffin of forgetfulness and breathes it back into life.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

"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.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Documentary filmmaker Shepard searches for her history deep in the heart of India's tiny Jewish community. Growing up in Boston, the author knew that her mother was a Muslim from Pakistan, her father a Christian from Colorado. When she was 13, in 1988, she learned that her grandmother had been born in Bombay, a member of the Bene Israel community, which believes it is one of the lost tribes of Israel. Shortly before Nana's death in 2000, Shepard promised she would go to India and study her ancestors. Her debut memoir begins 15 months later as she arrived in muggy Bombay to fulfill that promise. The ensuing trip was full of meetings with colorful characters and pensive reflections on identity, community and family. Shepard's journey through India took place as the world was rocked by the 9/11 attacks, which provided a recurring backdrop to her travels. In the nonlinear narrative of Part One, "Storytelling," the author dips back in time to recall how her parents met, to talk about her childhood and to examine her grandmother's influence on the family. Then she settles into "Fieldwork," a more conventional, chronological documentation of her journey. It throws up a number of intriguing revelations. One member of the Bene Israel community talked openly about the dwindling job opportunities for young Jews in Bombay, partly rectified in recent times by the booming call-center industry. Others seized on Shepard's ambivalence about religion and advised her to study a faith, preferably Judaism, and pick a partner from that denomination to marry. The author also traveled to Pakistan, where her grandmother and millions of other Indian Muslims moved after Partition in 1948. At Nana's old flat inKarachi, Shepard discovered a sheaf of her letters; these, together with the stories she told her granddaughter about her past, constitute the book's most interesting parts. A readable account that gives a vivid taste of life in present-day India as well as a poignant glimpse of complicated family relations. Agent: Fredrica Friedman/Fredrica S. Friedman and Company
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594201516
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/31/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 9.48 (w) x 9.88 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet 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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue: Arrival 1

Pt. 1 Storytelling

1 The Painted City 7

2 Shipwrecked Ancestors 14

3 The Girl from Foreign 21

4 Lucky Child 35

5 M. Ibrahim, Professional Photographer 43

6 Three Parents 52

7 Influences 71

8 Siddiqi House 81

9 Shantaram's Pond 97

10 Richard and Samina 109

11 Anxious-Type Nature 122

Pt. 2 Fieldwork

12 The Dirt Collectors 133

13 Hindi Lessons 149

14 Native Places 154

15 Second-Class Car 179

16 Omens 182

17 Jews and Indians 203

18 Which Caste 214

Pt. 3 Departures

19 People of the Book 235

20 Nana's Papers 273

21 Travel Advisory 286

22 High Holidays 293

23 Leah and Daniel 316

24 Which Way Is East 328

25 Departures 345

Epilogue: Return 355

Author's Note 359

List of Illustrations 363

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 10, 2012

    An interesting, if somewhat dry, memoir of Sadia Shephard's year

    An interesting, if somewhat dry, memoir of Sadia Shephard's year in India and Pakistan tracking down the Bene Israel community to which her grandmother belonged.

    I found the details of the Bene Israel community informative and intriguing -- this is a community of which I wasn't aware. Ms. Shepard narrative voice, however, is oddly detached and I found much of the pacing far too slow.

    I never had a sense of precisely what it was Shepard hoped to discover -- facts of her family's past? Certainly. But what is that great 'something more' that lifts a book like this from a tepid graduate thesis to a universal symbol? I never found it, and although the back of the book declares her journey to be
    'life-changing' I was not aware of any great transformation in the narrator. If the central narrative arc of a memoir is how the events contained therein contributed to the memoirist becoming who she ultimately became, then this work is thin gruel, no matter how exotic and colorful (to Westerners) the locale may be.

    The most interesting passages, for me came towards the end of the book -- a section wherein she discovered her grandmother's recipes is particularly poignant, and perhaps that's due to the specificity of the moment. It's a lovely metaphor. I would have liked to see it, or something similar, used to greater effect throughout the work.

    Still, as I said in the beginning -- although the book drags in sections, the premise is interesting, as are the facts of the Bene Israel community.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 5, 2012

    A very interesting memoir.

    This is an intriguing memoir. Sadia was raised by a Moslem mother a Protestant father and a Muslim grandmother. But as she grew, she found out that her Grandmother was born Jewish in India and later moved to Pakistan. After graduate school, Sadia began a journey to learn her Grandmother's heritage. Clearly written and beutifully structured, this story leaves the reader begging for more. A wonderful read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    Inspirational

    It was an absorbing story of a search for identity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2009

    A wonderful journey of discovery of self, family and culture by an articulate young woman

    A mesmerizing read as Shepherd recounts her adventure in India using a Fulbright scholarship to explore that country's very small Jewish community, and her own recently discovered connection to it. The organization of the book is a little awkward, but the journey is so compelling one is willing to overlook it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 10 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)