Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A poem for the new year and some books to read

The year is in its last week and most of the annual Best Books lists are out. Sleeping on Jupiter is in several of them and in great company.


THE NATIONAL, UAE: Top Ten International Titles of the Year
"Not one of the easiest reads of the year, but it certainly felt like one of the most-important. The Indian novelist lifted the lid on the hypocrisies of her country against a backdrop of abuse, brutality and painful memories as a 25-year-old film-maker’s assistant returned to the temple town of Jarmuli to confront the demons of her past. Only a courageous and talented novelist is able to coalesce such weighty, unsettling and yet topical issues into a compulsively readable book" 

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-life/books/the-top-10-books-that-flew-off-the-shelves-in-2015---in-pictures#8

THE ASIAN WRITER, UK

"This is not a book I highlight because it shares the entertaining qualities of my previous choices, but because it signals a departure from the stereotypes that can often characterise fiction from the subcontinent. Here Roy says what has previously been almost unsayable about violence towards women. It feels like a sea change in what we expect from South Asian literature – a topical story reimagined, a hard message, beautifully written."
http://theasianwriter.co.uk/2015/12/writers-pick-the-best-books-of-2015/

THE TELEGRAPH, Kolkata

"The novel lays bare the many forms of violence against women in India. Yet Roy’s women seem to be unbeaten: they are hardy, spirited and eager for life. Each violent moment is acutely imagined and presented with precision in Roy’s chiselled prose."
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1151225/jsp/opinion/story_60172.jsp#.VnzRPnt5yHI

DECCAN HERALD, Chennai
"With no power, phone signals or places to go during the recent Madras flood, reading was an option. When there was light, I read a book. When light failed, I lit a candle, and later, my Kindle. Anuradha Roy’s Sleeping On Jupiter kept me going through the night with its sharp prose and vivid descriptions..."
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/519706/flowers-flood.html


ASIA HOUSE, LONDON
"Then there was Anuradha Roy’s Sleeping on Jupiter, another Man Booker nominee. Despite its ethereal name, this is a book looking at harsh realities – sexual abuse of women and children in India – and a conversation on the book at Asia House was framed around that very topic.  Read about that here. Also take a look at our interview with Roy that was published ahead of this talk. Neither Sahota’s nor Roy’s books were light reads, but with their well-executed characters and moments of humour, they were certainly good reads."  

BIBLIO, Delhi
"Sleeping on Jupiter gleams quietly in the smog. Thank God, our godmen didn’t hear of it or they would have got it banned! Searing and lyrical but most significant to me because of hopes raised by the writer’s name! When she wins a major international award there could be some global publicist zeroing in on Anuradha as the next buzzword in books" 
-- academic and novelist Anuradha Marwah

HINDUSTAN TIMES, Delhi "The books that defined 2015"

IDIVA, Mumbai: 11 Books to read before 2015 ends

DESI BLITZ: AMAZING BOOKS TO READ THIS WINTER
http://www.desiblitz.com/content/amazing-books-read-winter-2015

I've found lots to read from these lists, and what I plan to get first is Grief is the Thing with Feathers. Not because I know very much about the book except for its rave reviews, but because it made me rack my brains for a couple of days until I remembered where the title came from: one of my favourite poets, Emily Dickinson. I'll leave you with the original poem and with wishes for a new year of hopes fulfilled.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
Emily Dickinson

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