Nikesh Shukla is the editor of The Good Immigrant, several novels, screenplays and commentary on social issues.
In these eleven chapters, Nikesh Shukla invites the reader into an intimate world of self-reflections written to his daughter on race, family and home. Penned in the style of a manual: How to talk to you about skin colour, How to talk to you about my mum; Shukla gently (and sometimes not so gently) reaches into those uncomfortable places that make up the reality that is this life.
He says ‘this book has to be about the stuff that keeps me up at night’, and courageously includes (subjects such as) his difficult relationship with food ‘I eat my feelings’ and his grief for the death of his mother ‘everything I do is almost to seek forgiveness for upsetting her’. While not avoiding the hard stuff, this book is written with a tenderness that evokes the sense of chatting together in the same room.
By turns passionate, humorous and poignant, Shukla captures the very real issues of a generation learning to find their place and synthesise the cultures and attributes of their immigrant parents in a mixed race Briton, the challenges of parenting and the strength and optimism that can come by approaching difficult subjects with honesty and vulnerability.
Brown Baby is a challenge to all of us to live more authentically. A very relatable memoir.
(review by Dee)