Jaya read a couple of books on a variety of themes.
The Circle of Reason is prominent Indian writer Amitav Ghosh’s debut novel. The story has an element of magical realism and though Jaya hasn’t really made sense of this genre, she found the book quite an enjoyable read. The book reveals Ghosh’s interest in multiple histories. His character traverses through India and Africa.
Dubai Wives by Zvezdana Raskovich is a book that seems to have a great deal of potential as it explores the lives of all kinds of women from bar dancers and house wives in this colorful emirate. However Jaya found the style a little too self-indulgent. “It would have been just as readable if it were two thirds the length as there seems to be a lot of repition that editing could have taken care of,” Jaya said.
English August: An Indian Story by Upamanyu Chatterjee is a book that we talked about in one of our BYOB Parties. This satirical book is a delight to read and peppered with irreverant and crass observations.The story revolves around Agastya Sen, an elitist Indian who takes a government job in the Deccan region; the consequence can only be self-discovery. Incidentally it was the sequel of this book The Mammaries of a Welfare State that won Upamanyu Chatterjee the Sahitya Akademi award in 2000.
Maybe it’s because Jaya is reading Radhakrishnan’s Indian Philosophy; she hasn’t quite taken to Devdutt Pattanaik’s mythological interpretations. She did enjoy the fluidity and ease with which he wrote Shikhandi and Other tales they don’t tell you. But she believes that too much simplification is hazardous to scholarship.
An author that Jaya can’t make much sense of is Haruki Murakami. She enjoyed the visual appeal of The Strange Library, but she thinks this book is strictly for fans, and yes, it is best experienced as a print book.
And with that diverse reading list, we will be winding up this Talking Terrace Book Club account. What have you been reading this month?