A powerful sense of empathy, of being able to imagine what it is to be soemone else, to feel what someone else feels (Mohsin Hamid)
This classic tale of missed chances, crushing errors of judgment, and scarring sacrifices, all compounded by cultural differences, is perfectly pitched, piercingly funny, and exquisitely heartbreaking (Booklist starred review)
Every minute I was away from this book I was longing to be back in the world she created (Ann Patchett, author of 'State of Wonder')
There is an incandescent talent at work here (The Times)
Wise, timely, ripe with humour and complexity, The Newlyweds is one of the most believable love stories of our young century (Gary Shteyngart, author of 'Super Sad True Love Story')
The intrigue and small disappointments of marriage are painstakingly captured. (Psychologies)
A Fresh and modern look at relationships, told with heart. (Elle)
A charming and serious tale of marriage, family and identity. Its prose style is intimate, almost conspiratorial... threading its arm around the reader confidently. The writing is clear and spare... yet Freudenberger's investigation into what makes relationships work... is complex and sophisticated... Freudenberger approaches her subject with great sensitivity, a heavy sense of the seriousness of life - and much wry humour. (Independent on Sunday)
There are some piercing cultural observations... the chapters zip along with purpose and the novel flits effortlessly between the false intimacy of suburban America and the closely knit gossipy communities of Dhaka (Independent)
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
She hadn’t heard the mailman, but Amina decided to go out and check. Just in case. If anyone saw her, they would know that there was someone in the house now during the day while George was at work. They would watch Amina hurrying coatless to the mailbox, still wearing her bedroom slippers, and would conclude that this was her home. She had come to stay.
The mailbox was new. She had ordered it herself with George’s credit card, from mailboxes.com, and she had not chosen the cheapest one. George had said that they needed something sturdy, and so Amina had turned off the Deshi part of her brain and ordered the heavy-duty rural model, in glossy black, for $90. She had not done the conversion into taka, and when it arrived, wrapped in plastic, surrounded by Styrofoam chips, and carefully tucked into its corrugated cardboard box—a box that most Americans would simply throw away but that Amina could not help storing in the basement, in a growing pile behind George’s Bowflex—she had taken pleasure in its size and solidity. She showed George the detachable red flag that you could move up or down to indicate whether you had letters for collection.
“That wasn’t even in the picture,” she told him. “It just came with it, free.”
The old mailbox had been bashed in by thugs. The first time had been right after Amina arrived from Bangladesh, one Thursday night in March. George had left for work on Friday morning, but he hadn’t gotten even as far as his car when he came back through the kitchen door, uncharacteristically furious.
“Goddamn thugs. Potheads. Smoking weed and destroying private property. And the police don’t do a fucking thing.”
“Thugs are here? In Pittsford?” She couldn’t understand it, and that made him angrier.
“Thugs! Vandals. Hooligans—whatever you want to call them. Uneducated pieces of human garbage.” Then he went down to the basement to get his tools, because you had to take the mailbox off its post and repair the damage right away. If the thugs saw that you hadn’t fixed it, that was an invitation.
The flag was still raised, and when she double-checked, sticking her hand all the way into its black depths, there was only the stack of bills George had left on his way to work. The thugs did not actually steal the mail, and so her green card, which was supposed to arrive this month, would have been safe even if she could have forgotten to check. “Thugs” had a different meaning in America, and that was why she’d been confused. George had been talking about kids, troublemakers from East Rochester High, while Amina had been thinking of dacoits: bandits who haunted the highways and made it unsafe to take the bus. She had lived in Rochester six months now—long enough to know that there were no bandits on Pittsford roads at night.
American English was different from the language she’d learned at Maple Leaf International in Dhaka, but she was lucky because George corrected her and kept her from making embarrassing mistakes. Americans always went to the bathroom, never the loo. They did not live in flats or stow anything in the boot of the car, and under no circumstances did they ever pop outside to smoke a fag.
Maple Leaf was where she first learned to use the computer, and the computer was how she met George, a thirty-four-year-old SWM who was looking for a wife. George had explained to her that he had always wanted to get married. He had dated women in Rochester, but often found them silly, and had such a strong aversion to perfume that he couldn’t sit across the table from a woman who was wearing it. George’s cousin Kim had called him “picky,” and had suggested that he might have better luck on the Internet, where he could clarify his requirements from the beginning.
George told Amina that he had been waiting for a special connection. He was a romantic, and he didn’t want to compromise on just anyone. It wasn’t until his colleague Ed told him that he’d met his wife, Min, on AsianEuro.com that he had thought of trying that particular site. When he had received the first e-mail from Amina, he said that he’d “had a feeling.” When Amina asked what had given him the feeling, he said that she was “straightforward” and that she did not play games, unlike some women he knew. Which women were those, she had asked, but George said he was talking about women he’d known a long time ago, when he was in college.
She hadn’t been testing him: she had really wanted to know, only because her own experience had been so different. She had been contacted by several men before George, and each time she’d wondered if this was the person she would marry. Once she and George had started e-mailing each other exclusively, she had wondered the same thing about him, and she’d continued wondering even after he booked the flight to Dhaka in order to meet her. She had wondered that first night when he ate with her parents at the wobbly table covered by the plasticized map of the world—which her father discreetly steadied by placing his elbow somewhere in the neighborhood of Sudan—and during the agonizing hours they had spent in the homes of their Dhaka friends and relatives, talking to each other in English while everyone sat around them and watched. It wasn’t until she was actually on the plane to Washington, D.C., wearing the University of Rochester sweatshirt he’d given her, that she had finally become convinced it was going to happen.
It was the first week of September, but the leaves were already starting to turn yellow. George said that the fall was coming early, making up for the fact that last spring had been unusually warm: a gift to Amina from the year 2005—her first in America. By the time she arrived in March most of the snow was gone, and so she had not yet experienced a real Rochester winter.
In those first weeks she had been pleased to notice that her husband had a large collection of books: biographies (Abraham Lincoln, Anne Frank, Cary Grant, Mary Queen of Scots, John Lennon, and Napoléon) as well as classic novels by Charles Dickens, Cervantes, Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway, and Jane Austen. George told Amina that he was a reader but that he couldn’t understand people who waded through all of the garbage they published these days, when it was possible to spend your whole life reading books the greatness of which had already been established.
George did have some books from his childhood, when he’d been interested in fantasy novels, especially retellings of the Arthurian legend and anything to do with dragons. There was also a book his mother had given him, 1001 Facts for Kids, which he claimed had “basically got him through the stupidity of elementary school.” In high school he had put away the 1001 Facts in favor of a game called Dungeons & Dragons, but there were now websites that served the same purpose, and George retained a storehouse of interesting tidbits that he periodically related to Amina.
“Did you know that there is an actual society made up of people who believe the earth is flat?”
“Did you know that one out of twenty people has an extra rib?”
“Did you know that most lipstick contains fish scales?”
For several weeks Amina had answered “No” to each of these questions, until she gradually understood that this was another colloquialism—perhaps more typical of her new husband than of the English language—simply a way of introducing a new subject that did not demand an... -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Audio CD .