Both Not Half (Hardback)
  • Both Not Half (Hardback)
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Both Not Half (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 352 Pages
Published: 16/05/2024
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'Full of warmth, humour, optimism and sometimes painful honesty' WILLIAM DALRYMPLE
'Anyone who's ever struggled to make sense of who they are and where they belong should read this book' NADIA WHITTOME MP
'An important voice of our generation' PARMINDER NAGRA

'This guy has better Punjabi than both of us and he's only half Punjabi.' Only. Half. I stared at those words. The intent behind the comment was in no way malicious, but it hurt. I felt diminished. I felt like I was being robbed of something essential to me. And as I stared at my screen, realisation dawned. '#bothnothalf' I replied.

For over twenty-five years, actor Jassa Ahluwalia described himself as 'half Indian, half English'. His fluent Punjabi always prompted bewilderment, medical staff questioned the legitimacy of his name, and the world of casting taught him he wasn't 'the right kind of mixed-race'. Feeling caught between two worlds, it wasn't long before Jassa embarked on a call to action: we need to change how we think and talk about mixed identity.

By delving into the media we grew up consuming and the legacies of empire we have been taught, Ahluwalia asks: is there anything to be learnt from Rudyard Kipling? Why were movie stars urged to hide their mixed identities? To what extent did colonialism encourage or hinder mixed marriages? Is nationalism outdated? How can the politics of class and queer liberation inform our understanding of mixed identity?

Both Not Half is a rallying cry for a new and inclusive future. It's a journey of self-discovery that unearths the historical roots of modern mixed identity as we know it, braving to deconstruct the binaries we have inherited and the narratives we passively accept. Part-memoir, part-manifesto: this is a campaign for belonging in a divided world.

Publisher: Bonnier Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781788708319
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 468 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 33 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Full of warmth, humour, optimism and sometimes painful honesty, Both Not Half is a brilliant, fresh and moving memoir that explores race and colour, fusion and mingling - William Dalrymple, author of The Anarchy

A journey that will resonate with anyone on their own quest for cohesion - Laila Woozeer, author of Not Quite White

I can't wait for my daughter to read this book - Nikesh Patel

A beautiful and profound story - Nihal Arthanayake

Both Not Half is a moving, challenging and fascinating page-turner ... that contains important lessons for progressive politics in a divided age - Grace Blakeley, author of Vulture Capitalism

Anyone who's ever struggled to make sense of who they are and where they belong should read this book - Nadia Whittome MP

A hopeful manifesto for our times - Kavita Puri, author of Partition Voices

An unexpected and enthralling journey ... I loved it - Samira Ahmed

In a world where we all long for a sense of belonging, Jassa shows us the richness of complexity and compassion - Anita Anand, author of Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary

A paean to self-definition and belonging in a confusing world - Sanjeev Bhaskar

An important voice of our generation and for generations to come - Parminder Nagra, star of Bend it Like Beckham

The sort of book that should become required reading in all of our schools - Hashi Mohamed, author of People Like Us

Brilliantly researched and dripping with personal colour - Ranvir Singh

A vital book for our times - Aanchal Malhotra, author of Remnants of Partition

A timely plea for a politics that embraces hybridity - Peter Mitchell, author of Imperial Nostalgia

Beautifully moving ... A must-read for all - Jaspreet Kaur, author of Brown Girl Like Me

Stunning and transparent - Sharan Dhaliwal, author of Burning My Roti

Intensely relatable - Vaneet Mehta, author of Bisexual Men Exist

Touching, essential and moving - Andy Nyman, author of The Golden Rules of Acting

Ahluwalia asks us to re-wire our minds, to push back against cultural divisions which demand simplistic labels that alienate us from others - Ritch C. Savin-Williams, author of Bi

Timely and eloquent - Tim Walker

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“A new perspective”

I thoroughly enjoyed the read. It was entertaining and informative. A very personal and honest memoir and philosophical game changer.

Hardback edition
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