Priya Basil, "Be My Guest: Reflections on Food, Community, and the Meaning of Generosity" (Knopf, 2020)

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Be My Guest: Reflections on Food, Community, and the Meaning of Generosity (Knopf, 2020) is an utterly unique, deeply personal meditation on what it means to tend to others and to ourselves--and how the two things work hand in hand. Priya Basil explores how food--and the act of offering food to others--are used to express love and support. Weaving together stories from her own life with knowledge gleaned from her Sikh heritage; her years spent in Kenya, India, Britain, and Germany; and ideas from Derrida, Plato, Arendt, and Peter Singer, Basil focuses an unexpected and illuminating light on what it means to be both a host and a guest. Lively, wide-ranging, and impassioned, Be My Guest is a singular work, at once a deeply felt plea for a kinder, more welcoming world and a reminder that, fundamentally, we all have more in common than we imagine.

Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.

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