“Firecrackers and Wedding Music”

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Granta has a stirring excerpt from Maria Choudhuri’s forthcoming memoir Beloved Strangers, about growing up in the capital of Bangladesh and then moving to New York.

The excerpt starts to explore the topic of her parents’ arranged marriage and what it meant for her mother to trade in a music career for a domestic life in a new town full of Pakistani soldiers. A preview:

Meeting face to face, even if chaperoned, was not considered proper. So my father turned up at the radio station, stood outside a glass-enclosed studio and watched a skinny nineteen-year-old singing in a voice so mesmerizing that he forgot why he was there.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →