Book review by Namrata
Title: The Prospect of Miracles
Author: Cyrus Mistry
Published by: Aleph Book Company, 2019
The Prospect of Miracles revolves around the life of Pastor Pius Philipose or rather, his death. Interestingly, in this long-awaited novel, author Cyrus Mistry’s primary character is a dead man. His seemingly natural death is perceived as unexpected to his adorners while his wife experiences the opposite. The rest of the story is about what everyone including his wife think of him.
Mistry — the novelist, needs no introduction. His novel Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in 2014 while his other works have also won many awards and accolades. However, it must be noted that this is the first time, he has moved beyond writing about the Parsi community. Almost all his previous works revolved around the culture, with primary characters also being Parsi. His early works were clear reflection of all his observations of growing up as a Parsi in Mumbai. Few years ago, he moved to a non-descript location in South India which seems to have largely inspired him to write this story.
Set in Kerala, the story has the fragrances of that state neatly wrapped within. From lush cardamom farms, to the coconut trees swinging in the air. From the delectable flavours of the local delicacies cooked in coconut oil to the festive celebrations throughout the year — this story has it all in the backdrop while the core story unravels for the reader. While talking about the culture and traditions of Kerala, he also talks about the oppression and the staunch belief system prevalent there.
Reading Cyrus Mistry’s work is like walking through years of patriarchy prevalent in our society. Clearly reminiscent of one the many characters from Anita Nair’s literary gem Ladies Coupe, this book promises to leave a reader perplexed. With a complex array of characters and a non-symmetrical plot line, Mistry invites you in a world which is so similar to the real world and yet so different. Read more
By Mita Kapur
“I keep seeing mentions in the press about Hari being titled ‘Namma Hero’, just like the Bengaluru metro system is ‘Namma Metro’ — something that I never expected when I wrote the first book about him. So Hari Majestic is having a far funnier time than I am having. I just work hard to keep up with his escapades from book to book,” jokes Zac O’ Yeah, creator of Hari Majestic, an everyman crime-solver who operates from the shady streets of Bengaluru’s Majestic area.
Jokes apart, his statement points out an increasing appetite for crime writing in India, a development I have noticed ever since I have been involved in the Noir Literature Festival (previously known as the Crime Writers Festival). The festival is rolling out its third edition on 27 January 2017 and we have discovered that the reading public is devouring the genre.
Hari is a symbol of the coming-of-age of Indian crime fiction in English which is finally beginning to break free of colonial trappings and finding inspiration in desi elements. We see traces of this maturation in the writing of writers like Anita Nair, Arjun Raj Gaind, Vish Dhamija, who are adding to the repertoire of this genre progressively. Read more
Source: First Post
By Ankita Shukla
Literature has witnessed the roles of women evolving through ages, but until recent times, most of the published writers were men and the portrayal of women in literature was without doubt biased. A lot of it has to be blamed on the fact that in the ancient world, literacy was strictly limited, and the majority of those who could write were male. However, the contribution of women to oral folklore cannot be taken for granted – in folk songs, stories, poetry and literature in general. Here’s a look at how women were portrayed in literature through eras.
During the Victorian era, there was an unending debate over the roles of women. While the era was dominated by writers who treated women as angelic figures- innocent, physically weaker and nothing less than household commodities; Edwardian poetry spoke of women’s rights gathering much attention, feminism and females getting out of their homes during the war times. Read more
Source: The Times of India
In her latest novel ‘Idris’, Anita Nair takes us on an unforgettable journey through 17th century South India, laden with a magical narrative and beautiful descriptions, writes Monideepa Sahu: The Deccan Herald
Idris, a trader of Somali origin, embarks on an epic journey “seeking the measure of earth and man.” His tall, muscular body, dark-as-midnight skin and a jewelled eye of glittering gold set him physically apart from the rest of the world. His powerful personality is equally striking. This “eternal traveller” seems to need nothing, not even sleep. Read more
The 4th edition of The Hindu Lit for Life begins on Saturday: The Hindu
This weekend, the city will see a celebration of literature, arts and cinema as the fourth edition of The Hindu Lit for Life takes off on Saturday.
The three days of lectures, panel discussions and workshops by distinguished national and international authors, experts and opinion-makers have something for everyone. Fans of literature can look forward to insightful dialogues between Man Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga and literary agent David Godwin, and Man Booker Prize shortlisted author Jim Crace and physician-writer Abraham Verghese. Other best-selling writers who will grace the festival include Ashwin Sanghi, Ravi Subramanian, Anita Nair and Naresh Fernandes. History enthusiasts can look forward to lectures by Romila Thapar and William Dalrymple.
Anita Nair doesn’t read crime fiction. “I have a habit of reading the last page of the book first and that is not the best way to approach a whodunit!” Though Anita doesn’t voraciously consume crime fiction, her Cut Like Wound (Harper Collins, Rs. 299) has all the perquisites of the genre. There is the series detective in Inspector Gowda, his assistant, Santosh, makes for a suitable Watson, a cross dressing serial killer who kills with a tourniquet covered in ground glass, a shady corporator, the seedy bars, the drugs, sex, and of course, the city, all follow the time-hallowed tenets of a hard-boiled noir.
“Genre fiction generally follows a template,” says Anita. “A thriller will have a crime which has to be solved and a romance will have two people who meet and fall in love. So one willy-nilly follows the rules.”
“I have always written literary fiction,” Anita comments. “I wrote this book purely on a whim. I had an image of a cross dresser putting on make up and one of a middle-aged cop. The challenge was putting them together. A thriller seemed to be the perfect space for the two to come together.”