Mandvi s laugh out loud funny introspection on experiencing life through Muslim, British, and American culture is full of heart and humility I found affinity in No Land s Man than I had originally anticipated, having grown up as an Asian American myself, torn between both American and Chinese culture in an all white community, much like Mandvi grappled with growing up Muslim in an all boys British boarding school Like Mandvi, though he could look the part of a Muslim, it only felt like a small fraction of his entire being, much in the same way I can look Chinese but only feel partially like one The strong questioning of my own cultural identity propelled me to live in China for a year That year s experience alone became its own melange of Western ideals, language barriers, and social institutions, and upon its completion, I returned to my tiny Midwestern hometown It was not unlike the pilgrimage Mandvi himself made by strolling the neighborhood streets of his childhood, seeking to better understand his current self by re visiting where his past self had been He humorously compares himself to a turkducken for having grown up Muslim, rolled in Britain, and wrapped up in America After a stream of auditioning for the stereotypical acting roles reserved for South Asians, he ultimately composes his own one man play to portray a realistic Muslim family with relationship struggles, hopes, and aspirations, not just brown characters relegated toward being snake charmers or screaming cab drivers Over time this paves the way toward his role as a news correspondent on The Daily Show, whereupon he becomes a beacon for the Muslim people, a representative of the under represented, and a voice for the less oft heard. There is a disclaimer at the beginning of this book that says some of the events Mandvi s writing about, while based in truth and on his own life, have been fictionalized So the whole time I m reading this, I m wondering which parts are real and which are fabricated to make the story better The distinction matters Either write a memoir that s telling the reader something relating to the author s authentic life otherwise, why write at all or write fiction based on autobiography and call it fiction. It Always Bothered Me That Aasif Was Than Merely Funny He S Also A Great Actor Now I Ve Learned He S An Amazing Storyteller As Well, And I Am Furious But Also Grateful Aasif S Movement Between Cultures And Genres Is What Makes Him And His Story Singularly Funny, Poignant, And Essential John Hodgman, Author Of The Areas Of My Expertise And More Information Than You Require My Father Moved Our Family To The United States Because Of A Word It Was A Word Whose Meaning Fascinated Him It Was A Singularly American Word, A Fat Word, A Word That Could Only Be Spoken With Decadent Pride That Word Was Brunch The Beauty Of America, He Would Say, Is They Have So Much Food, That Between Breakfast And Lunch They Have To Stop And Eat Again From International House Of Patel If You Re An Indo Muslim British American Actor Who Has Spent Time In Bars Than Mosques Over The Past Few Decades, Turns Out It S A Little Tough To Explain Who You Are Or Where You Are From In No Land S Man Aasif Mandvi Explores This And Other Conundrums Through Stories About His Family, Ambition, Desire, And Culture That Range From Dealing With His Brunch Obsessed Father, To Being A High School Age Michael Jackson Impersonator, To Joining A Bible Study Group In Order To Seduce A Nice Christian Girl, To Improbably Becoming America S Favorite Muslim Indian Arab Brown Doctor Correspondent On The Daily Show With Jon StewartThis Is A Book Filled With Passion, Discovery, And Humor Mandvi Hilariously And Poignantly Describes A Journey That Will Resonate With Anyone Who Has Had To Navigate His Or Her Way In The Murky Space Between Lands Or Anyone Who Really Loves Brunch Aasif Mandvi was best known to me as a correspondent on the Daily Show He is also the author star of a well reviewed one man show about the challenges of being the son of roving Muslim immigrants who passed their family through the UK before striking out for America This book is well written, but it was quite different from what I was expecting Mandvi s writing style here does not mirror the punchy, quick pace of his Daily Show work but instead consists of longer form, personal essays which are flavored with wry humor but not driven by it Though I found it slow starting, I m glad I finished it, as his insights about cultural differences between his Muslim origins and both his adopted homes are timely and thoughtful. This was a terrific perfect memoir to read immediately after White Fragility and Braving the Wilderness Such a lucky timing and perfect pairing I would recommend this memoir for any actor trying to make it or anyone who feels pigeon holed in their career.It s also interesting to hear his parents view on American culture Aasif is dorky, charming, and hilarious all at the same time It is not a LOL memoir but you ll smile with amusement This book endeared him to me, made me want to seek out of his work, turn me into a fan, and hold incredible respect and admiration for his work and career journey and his personal stories confessions make me wish we were friends He reminds me why I think slightly awkward nerds are sooo sexy.Great memoir of truth, vulnerability and reality Mandvi is a good storyteller and reasonably funny the urine drinking story being the only bit that might make you laugh out loud He doesn t really set out to be comedian, though, and instead focuses on the alienation he s felt as a Muslim Indian in England, and and Indian Muslim English immigrant in the US The anecdotes are very entertaining, but also serious without being overly sentimental Things get a little serious toward the very end, but overall it is a light, enjoyable, and quick read Full disclosure, I read an advance copy or ARC that I won in a Goodreads first reads giveaway. Aside Mandvi s memoir details his immigrant experience in the both the UK and his family s later move to Tampa, Florida as a teenager I know Mandvi primarily through his work on Comedy Central s The Daily Show my salvation during the Bush 2 years Mandvi, always charming and quick witted, demonstrates a greater depth in his memoir and I m glad I picked up this Audible edition It flew by. Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally There s not a lot to say about Aasif Mandvi s short and sharp memoir No Land s Man, but that doesn t mean it s not worth reading in fact, I found this one of the delightful short books I ve read in recent months, a disarming and always humorous look at one Indian immigrant s journey from the subcontinent to England and eventually America, informed and influenced by Gen X pop culture the entire way For those who only know Mandvi as one of the smartest contributors to Comedy Central s The Daily Show, they might be surprised to know that he has an equal amount of experience in the arts delving into drama and intellectualism, with his one man play Sakina s Restaurant eventually turned into the successful indie film Today s Special, and with Mandvi taking various parts over the years in plays by Tom Stoppard, Tony Kushner and and both of these sides of this talented writer and performer are on display in this small but engaging new book, a self deprecating yet earnest look at Mandvi s youth as a picked on Indian nerd in a working class British town, before his family s random move to Tampa, Florida and his 80s dreams of American success as defined through bad television One of the funniest chapters here is how Mandvi aspired as a youth to become the next Fonzie, insisting that his parents call him The Monz until his mother finally revolted, passionately lecturing him on the superior acting skills of Omar Sharif over Henry Winkler A fast and entertaining read that should take most people no than a day or two to finish, this comes strongly recommended to both comedy fans and those interested in first hand looks at the American immigration experience, as well as anyone else looking for a sweet, funny story about nerdom and outsider culture.Out of 10 9.3 Anyone who has seen Aasif Mandvi on the Daily Show as Senior Foreign Looking Correspondent already has high expectations of this, his first book Happily, Mandvi does not disappoint This memoir details his childhood peregrinations and, to a lesser extent, those of his adult life from the horrifying racism and cruelty of his years in a British boys boarding school to the much relaxed existence his family discovered in Florida where they moved because his father was obsessed with brunch and back to racism again when Mandvi, now full grown, discovers that outside of acting classes he can only be cast as a stereotype with a broad Indian esque accent and an exaggerated head bob.From Mandvi s television persona, readers may be expecting an endless succession of belly laughs, and although the book delivers these, it metes them out rather than ladling them on Certainly an equal proportion of the book, if not the lion s share, deals with the many injustices Mandvi encounters throughout his life as an Indo Muslim British American actor who has spent time in bars than mosques, as the jacket copy reads One veers from chortling aloud to wanting to strangle most of the author s boyhood schoolmates, which is clearly the intent This book is an excellent read An additional treat is that it offers a glimpse of Jon Stewart as employer, and it seems he is thoroughly decent in real life as he appears onscreen Highly recommended. Hmm I m not quite sure what I thought about this book It was witty, I got to know Aasif through his stories But the stories themselves, and the chronological ordering of the book was jarring to me Perhaps because I m such a Daily Show fan I was hoping for juicy details about the show However That s exactly what this book wasn t, Jon Stewart wasn t mentioned until the last few pages This book was a get to know Aasif , including his accomplishments, failures, beatings because he is Muslim, and his journey of self discovery Honestly, I got a bit tired of reading about the ridicule he experienced at the hands of others I m not sure if that is because I m American or White or even Female or whatever else society would label me as for not understanding Perhaps I am tired of the person getting picked on making general assumptions of the aggressors Perhaps I wanted to see him fight back Either way, it colored my impression of this book to be about three things 1 Acting 2 Self Identity 3 Obtaining women.
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- 240 pages
- No Lands Man
- Aasif Mandvi
- 08 September 2018 Aasif Mandvi