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Mumbai New York Scranton: A Memoir (Anglais) Relié – 12 mars 2013

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Mumbai New York Scranton


The plan was if I didn’t see him, don’t leave the airport. That was it. That was the whole plan. It’s 1 a.m. The arrivals area is outside under a giant carport. The air smells like burning garbage. I see Jason so fast. It’s almost funny.

There are 100 unlicensed cabdrivers waiting for Jason and me to finish kissing. The cabdrivers are sad now, Jason leads us to a little desk out of the way where he prepays for our taxi.

A few of the drivers follow us. They leave when we reach the prepaid parking area. There are rows of modern and vintage taxis. “I hope we get an old one!” I say.

Our cab is not old or new. The interior looks as if an airplane seat from 1980 has exploded. It is upholstered in a crazy patterned fabric everywhere, even the ceiling. I love it.

On the way out our driver stops at the airport gate. He gets out and goes into a little booth. Two boys come up to the car window one on each side. They put their hands out. Jason and I shake our heads no.

I’ve heard about Americans who go to India and flip out. They give away all they have with them, take out the max from the ATM, and return home changed forever.

The boys just stand there looking at us with wide eyes. They won’t leave. I whisper to Jason asking what we should do. “Roll up the window,” he says as he rolls his up quick. I follow his lead but my boy sticks his hand on the glass.

The window closes by a hand-turned crank. I can feel the skinny boy pushing down. I’m playing chicken in the saddest James Dean movie ever.

I continue to roll up the window and am about to squish his fingers when he yanks them out. Our driver returns.

The side of the road is lined with crowded shantytowns. Jason holds my hand and suggests I don’t look out the window. Jason has wanted to show me India since the first time we met. My sister didn’t say don’t go. If she had, I would never have come. But Minda made it clear she didn’t want me here. She’s afraid I’m too fragile for India, that I will end up shitting chocolate milk and come home weighing eighty-seven pounds.

There are no streetlights. I’m frightened. Jason asks the driver why he has turned off the main road. The driver says it is a shortcut. Jason tells him we would rather stay on big roads.



The Grand Hotel

The hotel elevator sings a song when the doors open. Our room is on the top floor. I open the desk’s drawer and paw the turquoise and purple stationery with 1960s typography.

Jason has bought me oranges. I eat them all right away.

I take a shower, careful to keep my mouth shut and puffed full of air. I brush my teeth using bottled water. Even wash the toothbrush off with it.

A travel doctor told us never to drink the tap water here. He also prescribed five hundred dollars’ worth of medicine to bring. I filled the prescription uptown near his office. The pharmacy gave me four complimentary tote bags. Really nice ones with a lining.

Jason turns off the lights. He tells me there are more oranges in the minifridge for when I wake up in the middle of the night hungry and jet-lagged.

In the middle of the night I wake up and eat all the oranges.

Revue de presse

"I've been trying to eat my way through Shopsin's menu and realize it's going to be a lifetime endeavor. Now Tamara, Kenny Shopsin’s daughter, has written a sprawling travel memoir that ranges all over the planet and which I finished the same day I started reading. Slinging simple declarative sentences that hide sounding depths, and speaking in a quiet voice that you realize too late is the hum of a jet engine, you'll race to Mumbai and back before you have time to process the ride. But oh man will the memory linger." (Patton Oswalt author of Zombie, Spaceship, Wasteland)

“Shopsin tells us this story in a terse, true manner. A beautifully illustrated memoir full of love, with no bullsh*t.” (Maira Kalman, author of And the Pursuit of Happiness and The Principles of Uncertainty)

“Sometimes a friend gives you a piece of writing and you are terrified to read it because what if it turns out your friend is a terrible writer? This was a particular concern with Tamara Shopsin, for not only is she a friend, but a brilliant designer, illustrator, cartoonist, and short order cook whose work in all these areas have long delighted and inspired me. So I am very relieved to report that MUMBAI NEW YORK SCRANTON is as virtuosic as her pancakes, which is to say: perfect, meaningful, and astonishing.” (John Hodgman, author of That is All)

“Tamara Shopsin writes like she illustrates—wry and succinct, with judiciously placed punch. She scatters Hansel and Gretel-style crumbs of fantastic, compelling memoir in woods of travelogue. Mumbai, New York, Scranton is muscular, efficient, understated, and surprising.” (Gabrielle Hamilton author of Blood, Bones and Butter)

"This (true) story is as dramatic as they come, complete with twin sister, eccentric father and the love of a good man. But because Shopsin is so fundamentally uninterested in being flashy, she gets our attention by not trying to get our attention. Mumbai New York Scranton gathers momentum secretly, accruing emotion entirely through food, art, furniture and the achingly mundane details that any survivor will recognize. Could not. Put. It down." (Miranda July author of No One Belongs Here More Than You and It Chooses You)

"A charming, rewarding,and unusual narrative." (Publishers Weekly)

"Shopsin’s dry, staccato sentences are very funny. Her irreverent illustrations and pithy, whimsical writing complement each other perfectly as [she] recounts details that… together limn a creative, playful, wry and resourceful woman in a crisis. Shopsin’s compelling and unconventional memoir is terrifying until you realize that, since she’s writing about it, there has to be a happy ending." (Booklist)

"[Shopsin's] wholly original work defies categorization. Brimming with observations, details, snippets of conversations and photographs by her husband, Jason Fulford, Mumbai New York Scranton is funny, intimate and dear. Shopsin has a laser-like focus for specificity...[her] eye for detail turns the mundane into the sublime and make you want to partake of any adventure she might embark on." (CampusCircle)

"Some memoirs are about travel. Others are about surviving a bigger-than-life family. Many of them are about illness, and the rare memoir gives readers a private glimpse of a marriage that's also a creative partnership. Just like one of the fabled items from her father's menu...Shopsin's memoir does them all. Her spare, present-tense narration is interspersed with her drawings...and Fulford's eerily composed photographs...building a larger world through association. Text and image work together in a marriage of complements. Reading the memoir feels like eavesdropping on Shopsin and Fulford as they collaborate." (New York Times Book Review)

"Mumbai New York Scranton is a fresh, engaging memoir...written in an episodic, stream-of-consciousness style. [Shopsin's] descriptions of life with [her husband] Jason are especially sweet and affecting, while what unfolds after their return to New York is harrowing and tense. Her portrayal of her quirky family, is vivid and loving; as an urban social history spanning the generations, it is sheer pleasure. A terrific and winning memoir, a love letter to a city and a family. Shopsin can add writing to her list of talents along with drawing, crafting, cooking and her egg-cracking prowess." (Shelf Awareness)

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Amazon.com: 19 commentaires
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Curiosities, family, and pain 19 mars 2013
Par M. Andrews - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
There are beautiful moments in this memoir of a woman juggling intense physical symptoms, a curiosity of the world, and the love of her career and family. Tender and simple descriptions of moments with her husband are beautiful and the best writing is in these snippets. Now we can add writer to the list of her talents which already include visual and culinary artistry.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A courageous travelogue/blog/diary, full of humor,wit and plain talking personal honesty. 1 décembre 2013
Par J. Dylan Rivis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Following my (Netflix) viewing of the documentary 'I Like Killing Flies' I came across Kenny Shopsin's talented, illustrator, author and Dad's sidekick cook and twin daughter, Tamara Shopsin's awesome land and life travelogue/Blog on paper cum diary entitled 'Mumbai, New York, Scranton'. It's a book which ought to have been prefaced by Paul Theroux, author of the starkly, refreshingly honest 'The Pillars of Hercules' , a litany of the true horrors (and a few joys) of a circumnavigation of today's Mediterranean. Whether it was Tamara's style, honesty (especially her willingness to share her 'vulnerabilities' during a worrying and painful time), humor, commentary, all of the above and more, this is the only book that, as far as I can recall, that I've never been able to put down until it was finished. You'll probably end up feeling Tamara is family
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
quirky and wonderful 26 juillet 2013
Par MJ Peltier - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I just finished reading this for the second time- within a month of reading it the first time. I NEVER do that with a book. Shopsin's illustrations, photos and writing work seamlessly together, to create one of the most unique books I have ever read. Her writing is so very present. She inspires me to stop and really look at life- our relationships, where we live, people around us, food, and on - with lots of curiosity, generosity and then humor automatically follows. I love her sensibility.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
like reading your SMART best friends Diary. 5 juin 2013
Par Leeseh - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
After a few jarringly intense reads, this was just what I needed: A gently written memoir that allows you to know it's author, the code writer/cook/designer Tamara Shopsin and her photojournalist husband Jason Fulford. There are photos and illustrations tossed in and her style is very much like an open journal. Simple, sparse but well chosen words glided me along. Now here's the deal: you MUST see the documentary about her family's infamous NYC restaurant Shopsins. The doc is called I LIKE KILLING FLIES and gives you all the backstory you'll need to understand a deeper dimension of this cool little book.
Honesty and Love Amid Difficulties Make A Slow Cooking Joy and a Satisfying Read 31 juillet 2015
Par Kathryn Pon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This begins as a South India travel diary, becomes a medical detective story and a memoir of love, family and work. The photos are by Jason Fulford; the illustrations and brief text are by Tamara Shopsin. Their daily life: their work together as illustrators, their choices of meals, their commute between Scranton and NY, are full of creativity, love and consideration for one another. Shopsin writes deadpan, sometimes with humor, always without drama, complaint. I admire her voice, there's honesty and a kind of grace in it. Despite the medical emergency which brings an urgency to the volume, there's a slow cooking joy throughout which makes this a very satisfying read.
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