Published Date : April 2000
Described as “brilliant social criticism” and “courageous”, Impressing the Whites expresses the unspoken thoughts of many nonwhites, and how they negotiate their lives in a world where “white is the color of power.” It expresses what nonwhites “often say amongst ourselves, but dare not say in public.” This book is Richard Crasta’s second most successful and widely discussed book after “The Revised Kama Sutra,” and used copies are in high demand on the market.
What explains the complex relationship that white people have white nonwhite people, and what are a few of the tricks and stratagems that nonwhites use to impress whites?
Combining his personal story with anecdote, analysis, idealism, and satire, this new edition of the book that one reviewer described as “brilliant as a Chris Rock routine” adds an analysis of “The White Tiger,” the Booker Prize, and the meaning of Barack Obama’s election as U.S. President.
Nonwhite people all over the world recognize the meaning of the phrase “impressing the whites” instantly, and often comment on the daring of the author in having chosen to be so open about what is a hush-hush secret among nonwhite people.
Impressing the whites. Impressing the whites even to get the faintest validation for our humanity. Impressing the whites, period. The story of our miracle-starved lives, of too many Indian and Third World lives, whether we be like the culturally barren Ashok the Huns yearning for materialistic success and emigration; whether we be Bombayites trying to put on Oxford accents and fake a knowledge of cheeses and wines; or whether we be Delhi literati striving to make a favorable impression on Delhi’s Western diplomats.
“But Indians are spiritual!” protested the German lady, unhappy when she heard the title of my new novel. Ethnic writing is what the West wants from mild and subdued Eastern writers, and we give it to them–and then we are praised as authentic, become famous and wealthy, and are made into spokesmen for our fellow countrymen. And other Third Worlders, observing the success of these few, decide to copy the formula. This happens in every field–almost! Thus, the East reinvents itself to please the West.
“A startling 80 to 90 percent of Indian writers have chosen their parents wisely.”
“A brilliant and sparkling writer.” – The Hindu
“Controversial, eloquent . . . Boldly goes where no man has gone before.” – Asian Age, New Delhi (Book Pick of the Week)
“This book is so much real and well worth the time. Writers like Richard Crasta should be celebrated for raising levels of understanding of human struggles, colonialism, foreign lands, and boldness of spirit.” Joyce