Project Description


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25 May 2021
RRP: $32.99
ISBN: 9781922400789
Paperback,  336 pages
234 x 153 mm

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Good Indian Daughter

by Ruhi Lee

Long before Ruhi fell pregnant, she knew she was never going to be the ‘good Indian daughter’ her parents demanded. But when the discovery that she is having a girl sends her into a slump of disappointment, it becomes clear she’s getting weighed down by emotional baggage that needs to be unpacked, quickly.

So Ruhi sets herself a mission to deal with the potholes in her past before her baby is born. Delving into her youth in suburban Melbourne, she draws a heartrending yet often hilarious picture of a family in crisis, struggling to connect across generational, cultural and personal divides.

Sifting through her own shattered self-esteem, Ruhi confronts the abuse threaded through her childhood. How can she hold on to the family and culture she has known and loved her whole life, when they are the reason for her scars?

Good Indian Daughter is a brutally honest yet brilliantly funny memoir for anyone who’s ever felt like a let-down.


‘It was impossible to put this book down, and not declare ‘I KNOW, RIGHT!’ numerous times while reading it. To every desi girl who has felt the struggle of being a good daughter, combating the weight of expectations, self doubt and familial angst, this book will hit home.’ Tasneem Chopra OAM, author, broadcaster and director.

‘Told with humour and a light touch, Good Indian Daughter lays bare the experience of growing up in a family and culture that requires its daughters to be dutiful, compliant and silent. Good Indian Daughter is a book for our times – a reminder that respect for women starts at home.’  Pip Williams, bestselling author of The Dictionary of Lost Words and One Italian Summer.

‘This is a courageous, unflinching and ultimately redemptive account of the terrible cost of being a good Indian daughter.’  Roanna Gonsalves

‘Ruhi Lee’s memoir made me laugh hard and then catch my breath with hurt. It is a privilege, as a reader, to be taken deep into Lee’s experiences and past, and to understand all the ways in which she both tries to be and rails against the notion of a Good Indian Daughter. ’  Kate Mildenhall, author of The Mother Fault and Skylarking

‘Absorbing from the first page, Good Indian Daughter lays out the complex expectations of immigrant parents who made sacrifices for the sake of family, yet thwart their children’s attempts to live lives of their own. The laugh-out-loud moments make Lee’s accounts of childhood trauma and her fierce and intelligent observations on Indian culture – particularly with regard to girls and women – all the more powerful as she searches and finds who she really is beneath the guise of the Good Indian Daughter.’ Katherine Tamiko Arguile, author of The Things She Owned.

About the Author

Ruhi Lee writes on Boon Wurrung land. Her articles, poetry and book reviews have been featured in The Guardian, ABC Life, SBS Voices, South Asian Today and The Big Issue among other publications. In 2019, she was a recipient of the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund and her manuscript was shortlisted for the Penguin Random House Write it Fellowship. In 2020, she was one of the commissioned writers for the Multicultural Arts Victoria’s Shelter program. Good Indian Daughter is her first memoir. You can follow her on Instagram @lee_ruhi.