Tag Archives: Young adults

Short Story: Tawakkul – A Story of Faith by Eman Khalid

It is not until we lose something, do we realize the true significance of it. It is not until we make mistakes do we realize where we went wrong. Human nature is such, we can’t help but make mistakes. And some people are fortunate enough to discipline those mistakes and better themselves. However, some people are arrogant enough to acknowledge their mistakes. They think of themselves as superior to the rest. And these are the kinds of people who never learn anything in life. Because if we believe that we are right all the time, what do we learn? We are just mere human beings in this journey of life. Along the way, we might get distracted by the beauty of this world. Us human beings, we are uncanny, aren’t we?

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The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Payal Dhar

By Monideepa Sahu

payal-dhar

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

This is a deceptively difficult question. I’ve thought about it for days, wondering how to answer it without sounding hackneyed. (And does the fact that I don’t have a deep, clever answer mean I have no good reason to be writing?!) The main reason is I write, I suppose, is because I like it. There are the beginnings of all these stories inside my head and the only to find out what happens next is to write them down and see where they go. This process of a story unfolding and then coming together is very exciting. It’s almost as much fun as reading a book.

Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

I have a few works in progress at the moment. One of them is a fantasy novel I’ve been stuck on for more than half a decade. Some people say I should abandon it, but I feel it has a life still. Another falls somewhere between a school story and mystery story, and also between MG and YA. The third is a standalone YA fantasy where we find out that a deja vu is actually a time jump (!); and the fourth is a secret!

Describe your writing aesthetic.

I like to keep it simple. The best writing advice I got was from a journalism teacher who told us that the kind of writing we should be aiming for was “Famous Five” (of Enid Blyton fame). At that time I thought that was ridiculous — why should you write like you’re writing for ten-year-olds? Only later I realized the wisdom behind that thought. That rather than showing off how many big words you know, write so that even a child could understand it. And it is harder than it looks, even when you *are* writing for children.

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Of empathy and pathos: Review of Anu Kumar’s The Girl Who Ran Away in a Washing Machine and Other Stories

Very few writers even dare to test a reader’s credulity. Anu Kumar stretches it, almost risking collapse, in her latest collection of short stories: TNS

WashingMachinePacked in 128 pages are ten well-written short stories by Anu Kumar. She’s penned 19 titles, for young adults, children, and adults. I have read three of them, including two of her previous novels, Letters for Paul (Mapinlit) and It Takes a Murder(Hachette), which I reviewed here last year. This is her second collection, the first being In Search of a Raja and Other Stories, which I haven’t read so far, but plan to. Her current book is one of the first books published by an independent publishing house, Kitaab. Read more

Inner-city life, and the banal mystery that is other people

“Parade” by Suichi Yushida was originally published in Japan in 2002

Beautifully banal. Perhaps not the most positive-sounding turn of phrase, but the one that best summarizes the appeal of Shuichi Yoshida’s interwoven narrative of five young adults and their struggles living in an overcrowded Tokyo apartment.

Ryosuke Sugimoto is 21, finishing college and sleeping with his best friend’s girlfriend. Mirai Soma, 24, splits her time unequally between frustrated artistic ambitions, running an imported-goods boutique and drinking her way around the trendiest gay bars. At 23, beautiful Kotomi Okochi is wasting her life sitting by the phone, waiting for a call from her pseudo-boyfriend and ignoring her clear symptoms of depression. Naoki Ihara, approaching 30, is the closest to a real adult, finally gaining some traction in his filmmaking career but is still in a weirdly codependent relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

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Against YA by Ruth Graham

Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.

As The Fault in Our Stars barrels into theaters this weekend virtually guaranteed to become a blockbuster, it can be hard to remember that once upon a time, an adult might have felt embarrassed to be caught reading the novel that inspired it. Not because it is bad—it isn’t—but because it was written for teenagers.

The once-unseemly notion that it’s acceptable for not-young adults to read young-adult fiction is now conventional wisdom. Today, grown-ups brandish their copies of teen novels with pride. There are endless lists of YA novels that adults should read, an “I read YA” campaign for grown-up YA fans, and confessional posts by adult YA addicts. But reading YA doesn’t make for much of a confession these days: A 2012 survey by a market research firm found that 55 percent of these books are bought by people older than 18. (The definition of YA is increasingly fuzzy, but it generally refers to books written for 12- to 17-year-olds. Meanwhile, the cultural definition of “young adult” now stretches practically to age 30, which may have something to do with this whole phenomenon.)

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