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June 02, 1991|Charles Solomon

MEATLESS DAYS by Sara Suleri (University of Chicago Press: $9.95). A professor of English at Yale, Sara Suleri writes with almost stately dignity about her girlhood in Pakistan after the 1947 partition. The daughter of a Welsh mother and a noted Indian journalist (her father was imprisoned repeatedly for his political writing), Suleri grew up amid an oddly extended family that included her father's first wife and the children from that marriage. Although American readers may find the references to Pakistani politicians and crises confusing, the reflections on Third World attitudes about women are fascinating: "The concept of woman was not really part of an available vocabulary: We were too busy for that, just living, and conducting precise negotiations with what it meant to be a sister or a wife or a mother or a servant."

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