Not Quite Not White
A first-generation American's searing appraisal of race and assimilation in the US
At the age of twelve, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the US. The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race. Rejecting her new 'not quite' designation-not quite white, not quite black, not quite Asian-she spent much of her life attempting to blend into American whiteness. But after her teen years, watching shows like The Jeffersons, dancing to Duran Duran, and perfecting the art of Jell-O no-bake desserts, she was forced to reckon with the hard questions: Why does whiteness retain its cloak of invisibility while other colours are made hypervisible?
Part memoir, part manifesto, Not Quite Not White is a witty and poignant story of self-discovery.