Bread, Cement, Cactus: A Memoir of Belonging and Dislocation


Author: Annie Zaidi

9781108814638 | PB | pp. (viii+159) | 2020 | Cambridge University Press

Annie Zaidi’s gripping memoir of her brave, persistent and poignant search for a place to call her own is a timely account of the uprooting and alienation of a contemporary Indian woman who is one amongst a multitude of other minorities.

Ships in 2-4 days

Out of stock

Spread the love


In this exploration of the meaning of home, Annie Zaidi reflects on the places in India from which she derives her sense of identity. She looks back on the now renamed city of her birth and the impossibility of belonging in the industrial township where she grew up. From her ancestral village, in a region notorious for its gangsters, to the mega-city where she now lives, Zaidi provides a nuanced perspective on forging a sense of belonging as a minority and a migrant in places where other communities consider you an outsider, and of the fragility of home left behind and changed beyond recognition.

In her book, Zaidi resets the perspectives from which we understand and remember the experience of home, and uses the personal to lay bare the new universality of home, redefining it as an unsettled, turbulent condition that we must continuously contend, negotiate, and compromise with, to our incremental loss.

Additional information


Annie Zaidi




Cambridge University Press





Year of Publication:






Country of Origin:


About the Author

Annie Zaidi is a freelance journalist and scriptwriter based in Mumbai, India, and was named by Elle magazine as one of the emerging South Asian writers ‘whose writing … will enrich South Asian literature’. Her first novel, Prelude to a Riot was published in 2019. Other books include Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales, a collection of essays based on her experiences as a reporter, which was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award in 2010, and Love Stories # 1 to 14, a collection of short fiction published in 2012. She also edited the anthology Unbound: 2,000 Years of Indian Women’s Writing, published in 2015.


This book will be shipped in 2-4 days’ time. The time taken for you to receive the book after it is shipped will depend upon the mode you choose, while completing your purchase. The rates applicable for each mode are different.

You will be informed after the order is shipped.

Shipping costs depend on the mode chosen, the weight of the item, and the distance it will travel to reach its destination. Shipping costs will be charged depending on the weight of the entire purchase (if more than one book is purchased). The same shipping mode will apply to all products in such a case.

You may also like…

Join Waitlist We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Please leave your valid email address below.