cover image Sari, Not Sari

Sari, Not Sari

Sonya Singh. Simon and Schuster, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-982185-91-6

There’s technology, tradition, samosas, and saris in Singh’s delightful debut rom-com about a relationship expert with relationship problems embracing her cultural identity. Manny Dogra is the successful CEO of Breakup, a company that facilitates diplomatic breakups via email. Manny is dismayed when a magazine spread shows her with skin that has been significantly lightened in Photoshop—and doubly so when her white fiancé, Adam, attempts to comfort her by saying she’s “not really” Indian anyway. Manny worries that she missed out on her heritage because her now-deceased parents encouraged her to embrace Americanization. An opportunity to learn about her roots comes in the form of Sammy Patel, who’s been hounding Manny to facilitate a “temporary breakup” with his non-Indian girlfriend so that he doesn’t have to introduce her to his judgmental family at his brother’s wedding. Manny agrees to help in exchange for Sammy letting her accompany him to the event. It’s her first big Indian wedding—and it sparks both romance and self-discovery. Singh sensitively probes misunderstandings about cultural identities with gentle humor. Chock-full of breakups and makeups, this energetic love story marks Singh as a writer to watch. Agent: Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Apr.)