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Mindy Kaling’s new book talks about foreign childhoods, being poor in New York

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Mindy Kaling on the cover of her new book.

Don't let Kelly Kapoor's ditzy demeanor throw you. Underneath, Kaling's as sharp as a tack.

Mindy Kaling, The Office writer and star has just released her first book entitled, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? — a memoir-style read chronicling Kaling's rise to NBC stardom — although to be fair, that is only a portion of the book. Like Tina Fey's memoir, Bossypants, the book touches base on topics like body image and the place of women in entertainment, but it also focuses on the struggle of living in New York with little to no money. 

The time she spent between college and her current television career here in New York provides for the some of the more entertaining fodder in the book. Stories about eating raw salmon as an alternative to expensive sashimi can resonate with anyone attempting to make things stretch in the big city. Experiences on the other side of fame (such as her send up of the over-selective NBC page program) remind the reader that being in that same position, struggling just to be the lowest of the low, is a process we all endure — regardless of success or failure. 

However, what I found most fascinating were the passages on her childhood. Kaling talks about growing up as a young Indian girl, and the tendency of those growing up in a foreign family to either embrace and ignore your culture. Kaling concludes that she favors a healthy balance in between, where one needs to neither deny or rely upon their ethnicity — in adolescence or your career.