Sadia Shepard is a documentary film maker and a writer. She lives in New York City and in this book, The Girl From Foreign tries to trace the life of her ancestors, making the foreign feel familiar.
The book is an autobiographical account in which Sadia, armed with a suitcase of camera equipment, arrives in Mumbai to document the Bene Israel’s unique traditions. She also tries to make sense of her own complicated cultural inheritance. She unearths long-buried family secrets such as her grandparents’ secret marriage, the aftermath of partition, shrouded identities, forbidden love and more. The narration expresses a keen sense of pace and structure. The text is shaped and trimmed like footage. The girl from foreign is Sadia’s journey to self-discovery.