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  • Center Street

The Perfect Gentleman: A Muslim Boy Meets the West

Imran Ahmad

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

Imran Ahmad shares his story of life as a Pakistani Muslim growing up in England in this appealing, humorous and poignant coming-of-age memoir that has received wide acclaim from the international literary world.

When he was a young boy, Imran Ahmad's parents entered him into a ''Bonnie Baby'' contest in his hometown of Karachi, Pakistan. Despite being dressed very smartly in black suit, white shirt and dark tie, Ahmad lost to the contest organizer's child. He was denied the title of ''Karachi's Bonniest Baby'' due to blatant nepotism. It was then, at the age of one, that Ahmad began his lifelong struggle against corruption and injustice.

Beginning with the particularly rainy day Ahmad was born and ending at the age of 43, reunited with a Christian classmate who had tried to convert him in grammar school, THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN is both deliciously funny and deeply insightful.

Ahmad shares his own story of growing up a Muslim boy torn between his Islamic identity and his desire to embrace the West. He muses on his eternal quest to be the quintessential English gentleman (James Bond), his yearning for the coolest car (Jaguar XJS), and his desire for the perfect girlfriend (preferably brunette but any kind considered).

With a unique style and unflinching honesty, THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN addresses serious issues in an extraordinarily light way and will leave readers thinking deeply and laughing out loud.

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