Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion

Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion

by Piyali Bhattacharya


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Literary Nonfiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies. GOOD GIRLS MARRY DOCTORS is the first anthology that examines "tiger parenting" from the perspective of the daughter.

GOOD GIRLS MARRY DOCTORS: SOUTH ASIAN AMERICAN DAUGHTERS ON OBEDIENCE AND REBELLION, edited by Piyali Bhattacharya, is the first anthology to examine the multiple facets of daughterhood in South Asian American families.

The voices in this volume reveal how a Good Girl is trained to seamlessly blend professional success with the maintenance and reproduction of her family's cultural heritage. Her gratitude for her immigrant parents' sacrifices creates intense pressure to perform and embody the role of the "perfect daughter." Yet, the demand for such perfection can stifle desire, curb curiosity, and make it fraught for a Good Girl to construct her own identity in the face of stern parental opinion.

Of course, this is not always the case. Certain stories in this collection uncover relationships between parents and daughters that are open and supportive while also being exacting. Many of the essays, however, dig into difficult truths about what it is to be a young woman in a world of overbearing cultural expectation.

GOOD GIRLS MARRY DOCTORS is filled with honest stories, difficult and joyous, heartbreaking and hilarious, from a diverse array of powerful women. These narratives combine to expose struggles that are too often hidden from the public eye, while reminding those going through similar experiences that they are heard, and they are not alone.

Contributors include: Ankita Rao, Ayesha Mattu, Fawzia Mirza, Hema Sarang-Sieminski, Jabeen Akhtar, Jyothi Natarajan, Leila Khan, Madiha Bhatti, Mathangi Subramanian, Meghna Chandra, Natasha Singh, Nayomi Munaweera, Neelanjana Banerjee, Phiroozeh Romer, Piyali Bhattacharya, Rachna Khatau, Rajpreet Heir, Roksana Badruddoja, Sayantani DasGupta, SJ Sindu, Sona Charaipotra, Surya Kundu, Swati Khurana, Tanzila Ahmed, Tara Dorabji, Tarfia Faizullah, and Triveni Gandhi.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781879960923
Publisher: Aunt Lute Books
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Pages: 212
Sales rank: 591,008
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Piyali Bhattacharya is a writer, editor, and writing instructor based in Nashville, TN where she is Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, and many other publications. She is the editor of the anthology GOOD GIRLS MARRY DOCTORS: SOUTH ASIAN AMERICAN DAUGHTERS ON OBEDIENCE AND REBELLION, which was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is currently working on her first novel, an excerpt from which won the 2015 Peter Straub Award for Fiction. She can be reached at

Table of Contents

Foreword Tarfia Faizullah i

Introduction Piyali Bhattacharya v

The Cost of Grief Tanzila Ahmed 1

My Mother, the Rebel Jabeen Akhtar 11

The Fantasy of Normative Motherhood Roksana Badruddoja 19

The Photograph of My Parents Neelanjana Banerjee 27

The Politics of Being Political Piyali Bhattacharya 33

Fair Game Madiha Bhatti 41

Daughter of Mine Meghna Chandra 45

Flipping the Script finding the Love of My Life While Writing the Book of My Heart Sona Charaipotra 51

Good Girls Become Doctors Sayantani DasGupta 55

Subterfuge On How to Be Obedient While Rebelling Tara Dorabji 59

Good Girls Pray to God Triveni Gandhi 65

Someday Never Comes Rajpreet Heir 73

Affording the Perfect Family Leila Khan 81

Acting the Part Rachna Khatau 89

Becoming a Reluctant Breadwinner Swati Kharana 95

Modern Mythologies Surya Kundu 101

Without Shame Ayesha Mattu 109

The Day I Found Out I Was a Witch Fawzia Mirza 117

"The Only Dates Are the Ones You Eat" and Other Laws of an Immigrant Girlhood Nayomi Munaweera 123

Patti Smith in the Dark Jyothi Natarajan 131

What It Looks Like to Grow Ankita Rao 141

Breathe Phiroozeh Petigara 149

Amma Hema Sarang-Sieminski 159

Draupadi Walks Alone at Night SJ Sindu 171

Cut Natasha Singh 175

Operation Make My Family Normal Mathangi Subramanian 181

Contributor Biographies 189

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