As an aunty-survivor and a woman who has lived the cross-cultural experience, I am here to remind you: Trust no aunty. We’ve all experienced ‘aunty interference’ that has hindered our social growth and embarrassed us in front of our friends and cool cousins. I’ve defied the advice of my aunties almost every step of the way, and I’ve turned out fine—fantastic, even. Until I started putting my art about the South Asian-American experience into the world, I didn’t know just how many others had gone through the same confusing culture clash while trying to find their way. If you thought you were alone in dealing with the overwhelming, meddling, yet oddly comforting attention of the aunties in your life, I’ve written this book for you.
The Aunty. We all have one (or know one). She’s the woman who gives unsolicited advice, tries to hook you up with that lawyer she just knows you’ll love, spills ALL the tea on pretty much everyone (including you) and usually looks like a million bucks. But there’s something about a Desi Aunty that puts the whole aunty thing into a completely different perspective. That’s where Maria Qamar’s book Trust No Aunty comes in.
Maria Qamar, also known on Instagram as @Hatecopy, gives us readers the inside scoop on what Desi Aunties are all about. She breaks them down by category, with detailed descriptions that are both informative and hilarious. Ms. Qamar uses her own illustrations and brand of humor to create a book/graphic novel/informational guide to dispel the legend of the Desi Aunty. But she doesn’t stop there. She also talks about appropriation of Desi culture, disappointing your parents when you choose the arts over a “real” career (SAME), provides us with the real names of dishes that Americans constantly call “curry,” different ways to dodge a chappal, and blesses us all with a delicious recipe for making our very own Daal. And yes, I wrote down that recipe immediately.
Trust No Aunty is a short read but full of insights and hilarity that had me cracking up. You will, too. Pick up a copy at your local bookstore or library. I highly recommend it.