Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bookish tag - on Indian Writing.

Hmmm.... a literary sort of tag, kindly put forward by MumbaiGirl. I feel less of a frivolous airhead when I do one of these, being as it's about books. Indian Writing, no less. Wow, I feel like I'm back in college already! And, as MumbaiGirl said in her post, the list is going to be pretty random, in no particular order and incomplete.

1. Vikram Seth’s "A Suitable Boy": I thought it was heavy going - too much history written for people unfamiliar with India and its past. Still, I read it.

2. David Davidar's "House of Blue Mangoes": A very good read, but I thought it kind of Jeffrey Archer-ish in that it covers three generations quite quickly, and it's a riches-to-even more riches sort of story. No solid chunks of history to plough through, and it was nice to have a story set in South India, though.

3. Arundhati Roy’s "The God of Small Things": I found this readable although again I felt very strongly that it was aimed at the non-Indian market.

4. Rohinton Mistry's "A Fine Balance" and "Family matters" - I guess he figures on everybody's list - or he should. Brilliant writer!

5. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's "The Mistress of Spices" - Okay, I picked up the book because I just fell in Lurve with her name the moment I read it! (I love Bengali names.) The book turned out to be a pretty good read, so I dont regret picking it up!

6. Anurag Mathur's "The Inscrutable Americans" - What a shame he ruined this really quite funny book with his stupid ending.

7. Anita Nair's "Ladies Coupe" - Very nice book! Very empowering of (to?) women.

8. Meera Syal's "Anita and Me" - Does she qualify to be in this list as a British-Indian? I'm adding her anyway. I dont like her brand of "acting", but no complaints about her writing.

9. S Muthiah's "Madras Discovered" - I read it because he was one of my favourite lecturers, but it was truly revelationary (if there's such a word) because it brought to life the city's past.

10. Rudyard Kipling's "Kim" - I know, he wasnt "Indian" but Kipling was such a wonderfully evocative writer that he HAS to figure on my list! I found Kim very heavy going at 10 years of age, but when I read it again a few years later, I was hooked. What a fantastic book! I've re-read it at least a dozen times and I love it every time.

There, that's it. I wont tag anybody in particular but anybody who wants to write about their favourite Indian authors can consider themselves tagged. Man, I do love writing about books! :)


Broom said...

really? "Mistress of Spices"? I had to struggle to finish it. Have to read Blue mangoes. have been hearing all sorts of praise about it all over.

shyam said...

Broom: Mistress of Spices was not bad... but House of Blue Mangoes is really readable! :) Go on, you should read it.

brinda said...

i notice you didnt say if you liked A Suitable Boy... So i assume the grand total of the people who actually like the book still stands at two (i loved it -- am planning to buy it one of these days when i can lift weights!)

shyam said...

who's the first one? Assuming you're the second.. :)

brinda said...

deepika... remember? davidar... was the only one (other than me) in BL (and since) who liked this AND God of Small Things...

Orange Fronkey said...

Oh ohhhh I love Books written by Indian writers. I'm hooked!

I like Mistress of spices alot... so when the movie was sitting out in the video store shelf i had to check it out despite reading how dumb it is. I regret for picking up the movie... so lame... so dumb... there was more depth to the book, the movie didn't convey.

I've not read anything else from your list..

I've read:

Invisible Lives & Imaginery Men by Anjali Banarjee (loved it!!!)

The village bride of beverly hills - Kavita Daswani (pretty funny!)

Goddess for Hire & Bollywood confidential by Sonia Sing (Goddess is a hilarious book!)

Tamarind Woman - Anita Rau Badami

Mango season & Serving crazy with curry by Amulya Malladi (I love her writing!)

Color of love (Beyond indigo) & Hundred shades of white (Good stuff!)

Brick Lane - Monica Ali

Last song of dusk - Siddarth Dhavant Shangvi

and few others that I've not read... mainly cuz they didn't catch my attention...

(Don't think the books are all by Indian writers.... but I enjoyed reading them!)