They Called Us Exceptional: And Other Lies That Raised Us


Product Details

$28.00  $26.04
Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Publish Date
6.39 X 9.41 X 1.02 inches | 1.07 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Prachi Gupta is an award-winning journalist and former senior reporter at Jezebel. She won a Writers Guild Award for her investigative essay "Stories About My Brother." Her work was featured in The Best American Magazine Writing 2021 and has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post Magazine, Marie Claire, Salon, Elle, and elsewhere. Prachi Gupta lives in New York City.


"They Called Us Exceptional is a marvel: a searingly honest memoir that manages to be at once a scalding indictment, and a heartfelt love letter. In its descriptions of the struggle to live authentically across two cultures, Gupta's book evokes W.E.B DuBois and Maxine Hong Kingston; in its exploration of how family psychopathology and cultural history entwine themselves across generations."--Scott Stossel, national editor of The Atlantic and author of My Age of Anxiety

"I read it in one sitting. Wow. It aims right at the tender spot where racism, sexism, and family dynamics collide, and somehow manages to be both searingly honest and deeply compassionate."--Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere

"It's not very often that the word 'necessary' in a book review feels, well, necessary. And yet, more than perhaps any other book to come across my desk this year, I want to shout from the mountaintops and the depths of the sea--upward, downward, and everywhere in between--that you must read this book. Gupta has penned one of the most gripping blends of memoir and reporting, writing a book whose page-turning is compelled as much by masterful macro-level storytelling as by memoir."--Jina Moore Ngarambe for Guernica

"What happens when a person discovers that the American Dream is a virus? Gupta's stunning and devastating debut contorts genre--existing as a disquisition on Asian American assimilation into the West, a bird's-eye view of how patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy congealed to destroy a family, and a coming-of-age tale about a woman who had to fight to make space for her voice."--Damon Young, author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker

"A memoir so honest and intimate, I felt I ought to look away. Gupta blasts through the imprisoning phrase Log kya kahenge--'What will people say?'--and brings us into her life and her home with awe-inspiring courage, nuance, and intelligence."--Diksha Basu, author of The Windfall

"Gupta has penned a gripping memoir that considers immigrant aspirations and tribulations alongside the heavy generational trauma of an immigrant parent leaving behind the known and the loved. With grace and dexterity, Gupta bravely interrogates not only the obvious but also the seething emotional territory that lies just beneath . . . A remarkable book that is both lyrical and brave."--Rafia Zakaria, author of Against White Feminism

"Self-directed and accomplished . . . For readers interested in complicated, thoughtful and beautifully written family stories that explore the cost of the model-minority myth, this book is as good as it gets."--BookPage

"Passionate . . . [Gupta's] startling candor and willingness to confront painful truths make this sing. Readers who've broken free from toxic family dynamics--or are hoping to do so--will want to check it out."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"They Called Us Exceptional is a heartfelt memoir of love and dysfunction, an indictment of the premium America places on exterior markers of success, and a careful exploration of the legacies of institutionalized racism, family illness, and constrictive ideals of gender."--Booklist