If You Don't Know Me by Now: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton

Front Cover
Viking, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 323 pages
4 Reviews
ĎStop laughing so much. Youíll only cry twice as much laterí, my mother says.Mum is never more anxious than at a celebration, hovering around us with red chillies to frighten away evil spirits. I hate that Iíve inherited this attitude: sometimes I can feel the end of good things before Iíve even had a chance to enjoy them. But finally I understand why my mother was so fond of the phrase: thatís how life was for her. For years, for every one shot of happy, there would be two shots of sad.When Sathnam Sanghera was twenty-four years old he made a discovery about his family that would both darken, and illuminate his life. It would set him on a journey into his familyís past: from his fatherís harsh life in rural Punjab, to the terrifying early years of his parentsí marriage in England; from his motherís extraordinary resilience as she brought up her young family in a foreign land, without any knowledge of its language, to the authorís happy memories of his own childhood Ė his obsessions with George Michael and a desire to have the perfect top knot. And, most affectingly of all, this discovery would finally force Sangheraís own secret life into the glaring light: his longing for romantic love which he had, for fear of family rejection, kept utterly hidden from his beloved mother.From Hindu hairdressers to the Wolverhampton tourist office, from terrifying violence to boundless family loyalty, If You Donít Know Me by Now is a heart-rending account of one familyís unimaginable suffering and also its great capacity for love. In a voice that is by turns tender and wonderfully funny, Sathnam Sanghera tells a story of the seemingly unbridgeable, and often harrowing, gulf between classes, cultures and generations and also provides a moving testament to the surprising power of unconditional love.

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User Review  - tina1969 - LibraryThing

For Sathnam Sanghera, growing up in Wolverhampton in the eighties was a confusing business. On the one hand, these were the heady days of George Michael mix-tapes, Dallas on TV and, if he was lucky ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - coolmama - LibraryThing

A charming memoir by Sathnam (an award winning UK journalist) who in order to find out about the schizophrenia that plagues his father and his sister, discovers more about his immigrant Indian household, especially his mother. Read full review

About the author (2008)

Sathnam Sanghera was born in 1976. He is an award-winning journalist who, until recently, was chief feature writer at The Financial Times. He now works for The Times and lives in London. This is his first book.

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