You Bring the Distant Near

You Bring the Distant Near

Book - 2017
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Ranee worries that her children are losing their Indian culture. Sonia is wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair. Tara seeks the limelight to hide her true self. Shanti desperately tries to make peace in the family. Anna fights to preserve Bengal tigers and her Bengali identity. As each Das woman decides which Bengali traditions to uphold in America, one hard truth remains: some scars take generations to heal.
Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374304904
Branch Call Number: Y FIC Perkins M
Characteristics: 303 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Unlike The Namesake, this story spans several generations and gives voices to several different women.

From the critics

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Jan 01, 2019

You Bring the Distant Near is certainly a character-driven book, but it is my no means uninteresting. Mitali Perkins does a wonderful job of crafting an interesting and inspiring story, of making us care about her characters and feel like we know them. She shows us her characters’ hopes, dreams, failures, and flaws; their greatest joys and their greatest struggles.

Tara has always wanted to act, but her mother expects her to marry or become an engineer or doctor, like a good Bengali girl. Anna, Tara’s daughter, just started attending her cousin’s school in America and struggles with feeling overshadowed by her cousin Chantal. Chantal comes alongside her cousin and makes her feel welcome in the school, even though she doesn’t share in Anna’s personal struggles.

The author gracefully and honestly addresses issues of race, prejudice, and relationships in You Bring the Distant Near. She acknowledges these important part of her characters’ stories and struggles, and represents her characters admirably.

You Bring the Distant Near is one of my favorite books, for the characters, the settings, the struggles, and the writing. It tells a story that many can enjoy, and also identify with. It has received awards and acknowledgements such as the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Boston Globe Best Book of the Year, and South Asia Book Award. I would recommend this book to fans of Piecing Me Together, The Hate U Give, Salt to the Sea, and American Street, as well as to anyone who enjoys a beautiful story full of character.

-Grace @

ArapahoeMary Oct 01, 2018

A beautiful story of identity and family as told from the perspectives of three generations of Bengali women. You will fall in love with this story.

Jan 16, 2018

A lovely book about race, family, and friendship. I can see why this was nominated for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. It is about a multi-generational story about a Bengali family that immigrates to America.

Lisa_Marie_C Nov 25, 2017

Perkins deftly balances humour, heart, and hope in this intelligent novel about three generations of Das women in India and America.

ArapahoeAlyson Nov 15, 2017

I loved this book! We learn about three generations of the Das women and each one is a well developed character. It is about immigration, race, mothers and daughters, independence, class... This is a teen book but definitely will have crossover appeal for adults.

ArapahoeBridget Oct 12, 2017

This is SO GOOD. It's funny and sweet and sad and amazing. I loved all the characters so much and it made me cry and the ending was perfect. As soon as I finished it, I went out to buy my own copy so I could reread it over and over.

DPLjosie Oct 05, 2017



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Jan 16, 2018

booknrrd thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Jul 19, 2019

"Do you want to write novels or nonfiction?" He asks.

"I love reading fiction to escape," I say. "But when i write, I like getting deeper into issues and thinking critically about them. I love argument. So, nonfiction, I guess."

"Novels change hearts, though, AND minds."


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