I picked up this book from the Woodland Public Library and have had it with me for my recent travels to British Columbia and Santa Cruz the last few weeks. My life has been in such a way that this book was the perfect escape to the Eastern part of the world, though it is not short on violence and grief and such things.
This book felt like many books put together. The stories feel hectic and tenses change — long pages text and long chapters fill the mind with words and cultures and things that most Americans know little or nothing about. Full of words that I had to slow down to read and pronounce in my mind remind me of how ignorant I am.
The story is rich and the dust jacket description is well written. Reviews are mixed from what I read online to inspire me to write this blog. I think many Western people would have a hard time with this book because of the depth of cultural context it explains. Some reviews claimed that the there was no story but in fact there are many stories in this book. The book felt real and it challenged modern literature and inspires me to write more freely.
If you want to learn more about what it would be like to be born hermaphroditic in India in the 1970’s, or to move into a graveyard and start a funeral parlor there for proper burials of the untouchables, or to taste the violence of Kashmir, definitely give this novel a look.
I was inspired to read this book after seeing Arundhathi Roy speak on Democracy Now recently– here is a link to that interview: LINK
Happy to have given this library book some mileage.