Brick Lane

by

Monica Ali

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Chanu Character Analysis

Nazneen’s husband. When she first meets him, Chanu is working as a mid-level civil servant in London. As such, he considers himself far above his fellow Bangladeshi immigrants, many of whom had menial labor jobs at home and are engaged in the same sort of work in England. Chanu prides himself on his intellectual abilities and his knowledge of Bangladesh history. He has a degree in English literature from Dhaka University, an achievement he is more than happy to brag about when in the company of his physician, Dr. Azad. A relatively kind and well-meaning husband, he can’t help but condescend to Nazneen on a regular basis. He loves her, but does not bother to get to know her, and he often fails to connect to his daughters, Shahana and Bibi, as well. Hapless and idealistic, and unable to finish anything he starts, he resorts to driving a taxi, determined to go home to Bangladesh where he hopes to make a fresh start as a soap salesman. By the end of the novel, however, he seems to accept Nazneen’s affair with Karim and to respect her decision to stay in London, and is revealed as a more loving and attentive husband than he had seemed to be previously.

Chanu Quotes in Brick Lane

The Brick Lane quotes below are all either spoken by Chanu or refer to Chanu. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Brick Lane published in 2003.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“You see,” he said, a frequent opener although often she did not see, “it is the white underclass, like Wilkie, who are most afraid of people like me. To him, and people like him, we are the only thing standing in the way of them sliding totally to the bottom of the pile. As long as we are below them, then they are above something. If they see us rise then they are resentful because we have left our proper place.”

Related Characters: Chanu (speaker), Nazneen, Wilkie
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

“If you think you are powerless, then you are. Everything is within you, where God put it. If your husband does not do what is required, think what you yourself have left undone.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Islam (speaker), Chanu, Nazneen
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

“I’m talking about the clash between Western values and our own. I’m talking about the struggle to assimilate and the need to preserve one’s identity and heritage. I’m talking about children who don’t know what their identity is. I’m talking about the feelings of alienation engendered by a society where racism is prevalent. I’m talking about the terrific struggle to preserve one’s sanity while striving to achieve the best for one’s family. I’m talking—”

Related Characters: Chanu (speaker), Nazneen, Mrs. Azad, Dr. Azad
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Sinking, sinking, drinking water. When everyone in the village was fasting a long month, when not a grain, not a drop of water passed between the parched lips of any able-bodied man, woman, or child over ten, when the sun was hotter than the cooking pot and dusk was just a febrile wish, the hypocrite went down to the pond to duck his head, to dive and sink, to drink and sink a little lower.

Related Characters: Nazneen (speaker), Chanu
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

“I don't know, Shahana. Sometimes I look back and I am shocked. Every day of my life I have prepared for success, worked for it, waited for it, and you don't notice how the days pass until nearly a lifetime has finished. Then it hits you—the thing you have been waiting for has already gone by. And it was going in the other direction. It's like I've been waiting on the wrong side of the road for a bus that was already full.”

Related Characters: Chanu (speaker), Nazneen, Shahana
Page Number: 265
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

For years she had felt she must not relax. If she relaxed, things would fall apart. Only the constant vigilance and planning, the low-level, unremarked and unrewarded activity of a woman, kept the household from crumbling.

Related Characters: Nazneen (speaker), Chanu, Shahana, Bibi
Page Number: 272
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 1 Quotes

“What’s more, she is a good worker. Cleaning and cooking and all that. The only complaint I could make is she can’t put my files in order, because she has no English. I don't complain, though. As I say, a girl from the village: totally unspoilt.”

Related Characters: Chanu (speaker), Nazneen
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

“And when they jump ship and scuttle over here, then in a sense they are home again. And you see, to a white person, we are all the same: dirty little monkeys all in the same monkey clan. But these people are peasants. Uneducated. Illiterate. Close-minded. Without ambition.” He sat back and

stroked his belly. “I don’t look down on them, but what can you do? If a man has only ever driven a rickshaw and never in his life held a book in his hand, then what can you expect from him?”

Related Characters: Chanu (speaker), Nazneen
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
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Brick Lane PDF

Chanu Character Timeline in Brick Lane

The timeline below shows where the character Chanu appears in Brick Lane. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Assimilation and Immigrant Life Theme Icon
Dinnertime has arrived, and Dr. Azad and Chanu are at the table where Nazneen waits to serve them. Dr. Azad tells them both... (full context)
Assimilation and Immigrant Life Theme Icon
Chanu changes the subject to his many qualifications for promotion. He mentions his degrees and the... (full context)
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Chanu goes on to tell Dr. Azad about when he first arrived in London. Unlike the... (full context)
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While Chanu goes on about his family’s greed and seemingly endless appeals for money, Dr. Azad and... (full context)
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
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...that barely conceals her bottom spin around an arena to thunderous applause. When she asks Chanu what she is watching, he tells her “ice skating.” Then she tries to say it,... (full context)
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Chanu is particularly annoyed by a coworker named Wilkie who, Chanu argues, is always trying to... (full context)
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Chanu then goes on to explain to Nazneen that it is the white underclass that is... (full context)
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Nazneen cuts the corns on Chanu’s feet while he talks about the evening’s dinner, which he decides was a success, even... (full context)
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...longer on the television. Soon she begins praying five times a day, a habit that Chanu approves of, even though she never sees him pray or read the Qur’an. His reverence... (full context)
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One day, Nazneen and Chanu visit the shops on Bethnal Green Road. Nazneen is looking for material for a new... (full context)
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That night in bed, Nazneen wonders what Chanu does all day at work. Does he spend his time discussing whether or not the... (full context)
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Nazneen rarely ventures out of her apartment. This is mostly because Chanu does not want her to. He prides himself on providing well for her, and besides,... (full context)
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...decide to have more children or invite family members move in with them. According to Chanu, such efficiency has become a joke among the British, and they’ve even come up with... (full context)
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...her heart not to beat with fear or desire. If she wants something, she asks Chanu, but she always defers to his opinion. She asks him if he finds the bed... (full context)
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Chanu has been hard at work drawing the house he hopes to build them in Dhaka... (full context)
Chapter 3
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It is morning and Nazneen hands Chanu his lunch, watches him head off to work, and, waving at the tattoo lady across... (full context)
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...up at the skyscrapers, which seem to be ripping the clouds apart. She thinks of Chanu, wondering if he works in just such a building and if he talks as much... (full context)
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...soaks her rain-sodden sari in the bathtub. Curled there, it looks like a pink python. Chanu comes home and begins talking about Hasina’s predicament and how there’s really nothing that can... (full context)
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Nazneen wants to shout at Chanu that anything is possible. She knows this now because she dared to go into an... (full context)
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...manifests itself in her new-found indifference to household chores. She secretly adds hot peppers to Chanu’s sandwiches. She puts his socks away in his drawer unwashed and makes sure to mess... (full context)
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...wants. If she feels powerless, then she is powerless. It is Nazneen’s job to manipulate Chanu into behaving as a husband should. Nazneen is then called into the doctor’s office by... (full context)
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...and a healthy baby. Nazneen then asks if he would like to join her and Chanu for dinner again soon, and he says he would be happy to. Unbeknownst to Nazneen,... (full context)
...darkest secrets, although she supposes it was Razia who told her about Nazneen’s troubles with Chanu and Hasina, and the thought amuses her. (full context)
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...try to find her work in a garment factory. Nazneen still worries about Hasina, but Chanu seems relieved that she is no longer in any way his responsibility. Mr. Chowdhury, he... (full context)
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...he’s hidden from her for eleven years. Razia tells Nazneen she should be grateful that Chanu has not made her a co-wife. (full context)
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Razia asks Nazneen about Chanu’s prospects for promotion, and Nazneen tells her that Chanu thinks he has not yet been... (full context)
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It is evening, and Nazneen and Chanu are getting ready for bed. Nazneen is continuing her housework strike, but Chanu doesn’t notice... (full context)
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Nazneen mentions to Chanu that Razia is learning English, and she asks him if she might be able to... (full context)
Chapter 4
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The baby is born, and Nazneen finds him miraculous. He is fair-skinned and beautiful, traits Chanu attributes to his grandmother’s cousin but that Nazneen considers proof of the baby’s blood relation... (full context)
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One Sunday, while Nazneen feeds Raqib, Chanu talks of Dr. Azad, who has yet to invite them to his home. Chanu thinks... (full context)
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Before they leave the house, though, Nazneen is forced to listen to Chanu go on and on about his chances for promotion (she notices he has started using... (full context)
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Chanu reads two passages from Richard III aloud to Nazneen, both dealing with Richard’s self-hatred. While... (full context)
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Nazneen and Chanu are on a bus on their way to Dr. Azad’s house. Chanu comments, quietly at... (full context)
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Nazneen notices that Chanu’s soles are separating from his shoes and the knees of his pants are shiny. When... (full context)
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...at wishing the snake away. She tells herself that her life is comfortable and fine. Chanu does not beat her. She loves Raqib. But the snake is there all the same,... (full context)
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If she’d known what her life with Chanu would be like, Nazneen thinks, she would have wept on her wedding day. In truth,... (full context)
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In the present, Chanu and Nazneen stand outside a large house landscaped with elaborate flagstones and fake animals. When... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Chanu and Nazneen settle into Dr. Azad’s garish living room.  Tiger figurines snarl in front of... (full context)
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...them eat TV dinners in the living room. Mrs. Azad does her best to ignore Chanu and Nazneen, drinking beer and watching television, which she keeps at a high volume. Chanu... (full context)
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...is highlighted the same, coppery color. Once she gets her money, she leaves, hardly acknowledging Chanu and Nazneen. Chanu says that is the tragedy of being an immigrant. One is always... (full context)
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...her bedroom. The large, dark wardrobe looms nearby, stuffed now with two more broken chairs. Chanu snores beside her. Nazneen knows in this moment that her son is the only thing... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Chanu brings Nazneen food, first from the hospital cantina, and then from home. She eats ravenously.... (full context)
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...up and become a housepainter. She and Nazneen share a laugh about this scenario and Chanu arrives with food from home. He greets Razia uncomfortably, and Nazneen suggests he go check... (full context)
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Nazneen eats Chanu’s food ravenously. He is a very good cook, and she feels bad that she had... (full context)
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Chanu brings Nazneen her prayer beads, and she begins praying hurriedly, wanting to get to Raqib,... (full context)
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...or orderly on sight. She is in the hall because Raqib’s room is being cleaned. Chanu joins her and they discuss the curious case of Mrs. Islam. Chanu tells Nazneen it... (full context)
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Chanu then tells Nazneen that he has resigned from his job on the council. He is... (full context)
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...him, of sticking her finger in his mouth and being bitten by his little teeth. Chanu promises to buy a set of encyclopedias for his son. He can tell he is... (full context)
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...she supposes she will get used to the disorder of her apartment. She sees that Chanu has at least started trying to fix some of the chairs. While she catalogues their... (full context)
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...apartment. She bathes carefully and then, approaching the dreaded dark wardrobe, pulls a pair of Chanu’s pants out and tries them on, telling herself she isn’t harming anyone. Then she trades... (full context)
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Nazneen finds Chanu in Raqib’s room at the hospital. Chanu informs Nazneen that their son is gone. At... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...times Hasina can’t be near her. Hasina signs off by saying she is sorry that Chanu’s job has not turned out the way he thought it would, but that he is... (full context)
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...Hasina congratulates Nazneen on her pregnancy. She predicts that now, with so much at stake, Chanu will finally find a job and finish his studies as well. It is so hot... (full context)
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...to keep the religious protestors from thinking she is impure. Hasina writes that the bonfire Chanu set for them in the backyard must have been fun for the neighborhood children, but... (full context)
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...fine, she says. She does not want Nazneen to start sending money to Hasina behind Chanu’s back. Mr. Chowdhury continues to take care of her. He visits often but does not... (full context)
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...to save her money. She will need it for the new baby coming and for Chanu’s new tutoring business. Hasina often forgets her problems when she compares them to Zainab’s. Zainab’s... (full context)
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...next letter is dated July 1994. She tells Nazneen she is happy to hear about Chanu’s new job at Leisure Center. She asks if it is a government job. It is... (full context)
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...his eyes disconcert Hasina. They remind her of cats’ eyes. She closes her letter hoping Chanu gets better soon and offering Nazneen her home remedy for ulcers. (full context)
Chapter 8
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...to Tower Hamlets in London and Nazneen’s point of view. It is February 2001, and Chanu is on the floor (he rejects chairs now) teaching Shahana and Bibi, his and Nazneen’s... (full context)
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Chanu’s methods for beating are almost always ridiculous. He can always formulate a plan but can... (full context)
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When Hasina was still working at the garment factory, Nazneen went to Chanu to ask if they might bring her to London. Chanu mocks the idea, telling her,... (full context)
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...They move instead to a two-bedroom apartment in the Rosemead block of Tower Hamlets, and Chanu remains unemployed, lounging around the apartment where Nazneen tries to keep herself busy, tidying and... (full context)
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Chanu is no longer pursuing any academic degrees. He teaches more than learns now, and the... (full context)
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Chanu wants his daughters to have a sense of Bangladesh’s history so that they can feel... (full context)
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...take a year off before entering university. Razia smokes and complains and makes fun of Chanu. Nazneen giggles and worries she won’t be able to get the smell out of the... (full context)
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When Chanu returns, he is burdened by two large packages. The box is for Nazneen, an early... (full context)
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...of cloth in the apartment, applying different stitches and experimenting with patterns. One day, while Chanu is out buying groceries, Mrs. Islam drops by. She still carries her big black bag... (full context)
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...that Mrs. Islam is asking Nazneen to give her money—fifty pounds, to be exact—and that Chanu must have taken out a loan to pay for the sewing machine and computer. The... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Chanu is at the computer showing the girls the world wide web, but Shahana is unimpressed.... (full context)
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After the girls go to bed, Nazneen and Chanu watch their daughters sleep. Nazneen sees that Chanu, tenderly moving hair out of Shahana’s face... (full context)
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...recalls a period of time—weeks, she thinks, maybe months, although it felt like an infinity—when Chanu took to his bed and did nothing. He no longer made plans because all of... (full context)
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...daughter-father-daughter nearly impossible. Bibi is always trying, futilely, to gain her father’s attention and regard. Chanu is always getting offended. Shahana is mostly embarrassed and angry. To Nazneen, trying to meet... (full context)
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...dogs to slim down. Nazneen doesn’t know what to think about any of it. Then Chanu comes home with a parcel and interrupts her. He has a batch of pants that... (full context)
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Chanu’s mood improves and he begins reading again and lecturing the family on the history of... (full context)
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Chanu stops being Nazneen’s middleman and becomes a cab driver. One hot day a new middleman... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Chanu, or driver 1619 as he is known at Kempton Kars, often works nights, and evenings... (full context)
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Sometimes Chanu works all night and Nazneen makes sure to have food prepared for him when he... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...went without a trace. What happens to such women? She does not tell Razia about Chanu borrowing 50 pounds from Mrs. Islam to buy the sewing machine and computer. (full context)
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...reads the pamphlets he gives her and puts them out on the table to show Chanu, but then hides them at the last minute. Karim prays in her house several more... (full context)
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Dr. Azad is once again having dinner with Chanu and Nazneen. Age has not been kind to his face. It has collapsed completely, although... (full context)
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...their own separate topics. Dr. Azad is preoccupied with heroin abuse among the Muslim community. Chanu worries about the tragedy of the immigrant. The men talk around each other, never directly... (full context)
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Days later, a leaflet falls through the letterbox and Shahana grabs it and begins reading. Chanu demands that she give it to him. Then he hands it back to her and... (full context)
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Nazneen is walking a respectable distance behind Chanu through Brick Lane. Chanu comments on the exorbitant price of the merchandise in the shops.... (full context)
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Chanu assumes that Nazneen is over-tired and says they will be home soon. Tears come to... (full context)
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...extreme Muslim values. The Bengal Tigers want the freedom to practice their faith in peace. Chanu finds the leaflet war amusing. He thinks the Bengal Tigers have grown fed up with... (full context)
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...to protect themselves. The youth, Karim says, have lost their focus. Often Karim comes when Chanu is in the house, and Nazneen feels good about this because it means her interactions... (full context)
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...which he holds himself at all times. He seems to have found what Nazneen and Chanu cannot: his place in the world. She grabs the soap and razor and shaves her... (full context)
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...Shahana walks ahead of her mother, drawing stares. Nazneen wishes she were wearing pants today. Chanu has been waffling on the issue of the girls’ attire. If he has a Lion... (full context)
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...outside the door. She wonders if it is Mrs. Islam or one of her sons. Chanu did not only borrow that first fifty pounds. In fact, she has no idea how... (full context)
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Nazneen wakes to a feeling of anticipation. Then she sees the hated wardrobe and Chanu’s pimply arm and she realizes it is a day like any other. She is filled... (full context)
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The leaflets keep coming, but they come in the morning now. Chanu picks up the latest one from the Bengal Tigers. It is a reminder that all... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...anyone in the room authorized the leaflet on Chechnya, the one that had so offended Chanu. (full context)
Chapter 14
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Chanu has decided that it is time for the family to see the London sights. Since... (full context)
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Nazneen is determined that Chanu not be disappointed in this day, so she peppers him with questions and laughs and... (full context)
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...has prepared. It is an elaborate feast, but Shahana only nibbles at the store-bought sweets. Chanu eats everything and falls asleep. The girls go for a walk and, even though she... (full context)
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...moment in St. James Park with her family. The girls have returned from their walk. Chanu wakes up from his nap. He goes in search of ice cream for everyone. When... (full context)
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...comes for her money the following Monday. Nazneen gives her the fifty pounds she and Chanu agreed upon as a monthly payment. Mrs. Islam is not satisfied with that amount, though.... (full context)
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...her friend all her secrets. She tells her only about the fact that she and Chanu borrowed money from Mrs. Islam. Razia is horrified. She says they’ll be paying off the... (full context)
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That night, Chanu is reading a book about the Bengali textile industry at the time of British imperial... (full context)
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Chanu tells his daughter that when he looks back on his life he is shocked by... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Chanu tells Nazneen that he found her on the kitchen floor, eyes unblinking, vomit at the... (full context)
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...they ended at all. She hopes everything will be clearer when he visits again. After Chanu and the girls go to bed, she picks up objects randomly, disarranging the room, and... (full context)
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...seen too many people fail at that to be really tempted. Hasina tells him about Chanu and how he’s lived in London for almost 20 years, and Zaid is finally impressed.... (full context)
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Nazneen and her family are home, cleaning house together. Chanu seems to have stopped going to work. He hovers around Nazneen, fussing and telling her... (full context)
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...of the hated wardrobe or at least painted it. She should have hung all of Chanu’s certificates on the wall. Everything seemed so temporary back then. Now, she feels that is... (full context)
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...ear and draws blood. She wants everything all at once: to disappear, but mostly for Chanu to come in and see, finally, who she really is. (full context)
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...aloud, as if he had thought of it himself. He looks at various things on Chanu’s computer, including a picture of an ox driver in Bangladesh. He tells Nazneen that he... (full context)
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...an upcoming Bengal Tigers-sponsored festival. She wants to go. Everyone will be there, she says. Chanu says no, and that if she insists on whining about it, he will beat her... (full context)
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Later, when Chanu proudly reads aloud from a London School of Economics study that suggests Bangladesh is the... (full context)
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...tub after tub of leftover food. Nazneen is preoccupied with the meeting the night before. Chanu attended with her and even stood up to speak, making a short speech about Bangladesh’s... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Nazneen, the girls, and Chanu are at home. Everyone is preparing for the festival. The girls are in charge of... (full context)
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...wash the sheets, preferring instead to wrap herself in the soiled linen and sleep there. Chanu buys her an ivory comb and a beautiful bolt of cloth. She doesn’t want either.... (full context)
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...to puncture Nazneen’s depression. Soon, though, she is back in a fog, sewing and worrying. Chanu rushes in and orders her to turn on the television. (full context)
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The terror attacks of September 11 play out on the screen. Chanu and Nazneen watch it unfold in horror. Chanu says this is the beginning of the... (full context)
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...backlash from September 11. Girls have their head scarves pulled off. Razia is spit on. Chanu gathers his family into the living room and tells them the story of the famous... (full context)
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But they can’t leave yet because they still don’t have the money. Chanu counts what they have at the kitchen table and asks in confusion where it is... (full context)
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Chanu starts working all the time. He works so much he is too tired to talk,... (full context)
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...It would seem in bad taste. The girls are disappointed. They are also worried about Chanu, who has stopped humming and giving speeches. He doesn’t even want them to turn the... (full context)
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...stop, but then he whispers in her ear and she is powerless. She sometimes wishes Chanu would discover them and kill her. Then she would be freed from this torment, but... (full context)
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Nazneen tells Karim that Chanu is making plans to move the family home to Dhaka. He does not react at... (full context)
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The family has stopped eating together. Chanu has no appetite, so Nazneen lets the girls eat hamburgers and baked beans and whatever... (full context)
Chapter 17
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One evening, the girls and Nazneen are alone in the apartment. Chanu is working. Shahana is saying she doesn’t want to move to Bangladesh. Not even, Nazneen... (full context)
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...Nazneen does not know what she wants to happen. She can go to Bangladesh with Chanu and the girls, but that could end in ruin. She could stay here and marry... (full context)
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...the ocean have coral and pearls. Which is the right ocean? It reminds Nazneen of Chanu cutting his toenails in bed and coming over to her, kissing her forehead, and saying... (full context)
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Chanu talks less and less, while Karim talks more and more. Karim is energized by the... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Much to Nazneen’s surprise, Chanu announces that he will be attending the next Bengal Tigers meeting. He tells her he... (full context)
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The meeting hall is half full. Factions have formed. Nazneen and Chanu sit with a group of young men on the left side of the hall, who... (full context)
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Nazneen watches Chanu out of the corner of her eye. His head is bent, and he seems lost... (full context)
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...Nazneen’s chin and hisses that she is a liar. Mrs. Islam says she knows that Chanu ran crying to Dr. Azad for money for his escape. Nazneen is shocked and angry... (full context)
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When Chanu comes home that night, Nazneen confronts him with Mrs. Islam’s accusation, and asks him if... (full context)
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Chanu asks Nazneen to come with him and see the plane tickets. They are for five... (full context)
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...He is trying to quit heroin. Nazneen’s mind is occupied with worry for her daughters, Chanu, and herself—and also for Karim. She decides she will not say goodbye to him. Thoughts... (full context)
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...Raqib and his fate, she killed him. She killed her son. Nazneen wakes, screaming, and Chanu tells her to talk to him about the nightmare. The words will chase the fear... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...her that she will not pay. She has done the calculations herself and she and Chanu have repaid the debt and 300 pounds in interest. (full context)
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...being a money lender. Nazneen stands her ground. Then Mrs. Islam indirectly threatens to tell Chanu about Nazneen’s affair with Karim, but Nazneen says Chanu already knows everything. (full context)
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...Islam is shocked. She gives in, and one of her sons mumbles that Nazneen and Chanu already paid too much anyway. Mrs. Islam begins beating him with her bag, crying and... (full context)
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...this entire time is really only in her head. She’d thought that unlike her and Chanu, he knew exactly where he fit into the world, but the reality is he’s just... (full context)
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Nazneen tells Karim that Chanu is leaving for Bangladesh tomorrow, and that she and the girls are staying behind. Then... (full context)
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...coming along well in his fight against addiction. Nazneen begins to wonder why he lent Chanu the money for the plane tickets. She thinks maybe he’d hoped to save someone else’s... (full context)
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...and furniture labeled either to be shipped, sold, or given away. She plans to tell Chanu of her decision an hour before they are scheduled to leave the apartment. She can... (full context)
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Chanu leaves to run a few last-minute errands, and Nazneen looks out the window at the... (full context)
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Chanu comes back, his briefcase full of soap from a nearby shop. He talks of his... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Back at home, Shahana takes a bath while Bibi watches her, and Chanu hurries around the apartment, using endless talk as a way to delay the inevitable. Nazneen... (full context)
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Chanu tells the girls that there’s been a change of plans: he will go to Dhaka... (full context)
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...send some to Hasina. She hasn’t had a letter from her sister in two months. Chanu, on the other hand, writes often. He writes of his meals and his plans and... (full context)
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In another call, Chanu tells Nazneen that Hasina has vanished. She has run off with the cook, and her... (full context)
Chapter 1
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As submissive as her sister is rebellious, Nazneen agrees to an arranged marriage with Chanu, a much older man who lives in London. Hamid offers to show Nazneen a picture... (full context)
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...The year is now 1985, and Nazneen has been living in London with her husband, Chanu, for six months. Her days are occupied with housework and observing her neighbors, one of... (full context)
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On this particular day, Nazneen is preparing a lamb curry dinner for Chanu and his physician, Dr. Azad. The dinner is almost ready, so she decides to read... (full context)
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...man in their village back home in Pakistan, he never had anything like the furniture Chanu has provided for her. The rooms are filled with cupboards, tables, cabinets, bookcases, and rugs,... (full context)
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...blame on fate. It is not as if she can neglect her housework and tell Chanu that it was fate that she not prepare dinner. Wives have been beaten for less.... (full context)
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...real human connection. Her thoughts drift. She wonders why Hamid did not see her and Chanu off at the airport, and if Chanu will want his corns trimmed again, and what... (full context)
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...considers Mrs. Islam’s place in immigrant London society. When Nazneen first moved to Tower Hamlets, Chanu explained to her the hierarchy of the complex’s inhabitants. Many, he said, are Sylhetis, peasants... (full context)
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...her arthritic hip, nervous about having the necessary time to prepare the important dinner for Chanu and Dr. Azad, who has sway with Mr. Dalloway, Chanu’s boss, and must therefore be... (full context)