(Finalist for the Man Booker Prize) In Monica Ali's auspicious first novel, her heroine Nazneen's inauspicious entry into the world—on the hard mud floor of a Bangladeshi hut—imbues in her a deep sense of fatalism. She is married off to Chanu, a man old enough to be her father, and moves to the mysterious world of London. How can she cross the road without being hit by a car? What is the secret of her bullying neighbor Mrs. Islam? What is a Hell's Angel? And how must she comfort the naive and disillusioned Chanu? She submits, as she must, to fate and devotes herself to her husband and daughters. Yet to her own amazement, Nazneen begins an affair with a young radical, and her erotic awakening leads her to question whether fate controls her or whether she has a hand in her own destiny.
"A humanely forgiving story about love.... Brick Lane may be Ali's first novel, but it is written with a wisdom and skill that few authors attain in a lifetime."—Sunday Times (London)