Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion, edited by Piyali Bhattacharya, is the first anthology to examine the multiple facets of daughterhood in South Asian American families.
The voices in this volume reveal how a Good Girl is trained to seamlessly blend professional success with the maintenance and reproduction of her family’s cultural heritage. Her gratitude for her immigrant parents’ sacrifices creates intense pressure to perform and embody the role of the “perfect daughter.” Yet, the demand for such perfection can stifle desire, curb curiosity, and make it fraught for a Good Girl to construct her own identity in the face of stern parental opinion.
Of course, this is not always the case. Certain stories in this collection uncover relationships between parents and daughters that are open and supportive while also being exacting. Many of the essays, however, dig into difficult truths about what it is to be a young woman in a world of overbearing cultural expectation.
Good Girls Marry Doctors is filled with honest stories, difficult and joyous, heartbreaking and hilarious, from a diverse array of powerful women. These narratives combine to expose struggles that are too often hidden from the public eye, while reminding those going through similar experiences that they are heard, and they are not alone.
About the Editor
Piyali Bhattacharya is a writer, editor, and writing instructor based in Nashville, TN where she is Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and many others. She is the editor of the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion, which was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and is currently working on her first novel, an excerpt from which won the 2015 Peter Straub Award for Fiction. She can be reached at www.piyalibhattacharya.com.