This one is a bit off-putting, everything is described so very vividly and usually negatively. Or, let's say, flippantly. And superficially. SometimesThis one is a bit off-putting, everything is described so very vividly and usually negatively. Or, let's say, flippantly. And superficially. Sometimes talking superficially about something can yield insight, like sifting through sand on a beach can yield bits of organic matter.. But that sifting process wasn't worth the jarring unpleasantness of writing style. Which was to my preferred writing style as a childish flipbook is to a well produced gorgeous coffee-table book rich with fascinating content and evocative photographs.
I was uncomfortable a lot of the time, his inner workings for most of his life were marked by the same slippery slope/twisted thinking methodology ofI was uncomfortable a lot of the time, his inner workings for most of his life were marked by the same slippery slope/twisted thinking methodology of addiction. Which doesn't do it for me. Was entirely interesting throughout, and I enjoyed it through my discomfort a lot of the time. Will look forward to reading more from him, in which the protagonist doesn't have these particular attributes....more
Read this in keeping with my teenager's english class. Fascinating to read, about the lifestyle before intrusion; and then how life changed for theseRead this in keeping with my teenager's english class. Fascinating to read, about the lifestyle before intrusion; and then how life changed for these specific people. Interesting specific instance about how missionaries did what they did exactly. Really found it depressing as the missionaries took over, although of course the twins thing was horrible. Every culture has its weaknesses though, the take over of one by another is a negative for me throughout.
Want to re-read now, Chinua Achebe is among those writers mentioned early on by President Obama in his book, 'Dreams From my Father.'...more
This is a magnificent work of enormous importance, laying bare the multitudes and layers of errors made by all involved in the last 9 years in Afghanistan in particular, and delivering prescriptions for positive change.
‘If we can better understand what has happened before, what has gone wrong, and what needs to go right, as this book attempts to do, then we can better face up to our collective future.’ p. 404 (final sentence).
Rashid does focus throughout on the ‘what went wrong,’ within each period, within each country, within each layer of strategy. This enormous data set should be extremely useful as we here in the US all hopefully move towards a more nuanced, principled, integrity-rich practice of foreign policy.
The more you already know about Afghanistan and Pakistan and the last decade, the more easily you’ll be able to layer in all of the wealth of information contained here. Myself, I was relatively ignorant, and so felt uncomfortably overwhelmed for some periods. But it eased, and I would strongly encourage everyone to read this book. The writing is lively, engaging, fascinating (even breath-taking in parts) and flows into every nook and cranny related to the subject. So the content is wide-ranging and always rewarding of attention.
Highly recommend to everyone but especially all US citizens as - actively or passively - we played a huge role in the birthing and nurturance of the global threat of terrorism facing us today. And simply detaching is - I don’t believe - a valid option, atleast not until the significant accumulation of damage done from our last several decades of involvement is healed. ...more
From Wikipedia: Dr. Rahi Masoom Reza, born in Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh (India) in a Muslim family, was a famous Urdu shayar. He also won the F From Wikipedia: Dr. Rahi Masoom Reza, born in Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh (India) in a Muslim family, was a famous Urdu shayar. He also won the Filmfare Best Dialogue Award for the hit film Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki in 1979. He also wrote in Hindustani and Hindi language. He was also an eminent lyricist of Bollywood.
He wrote the script for a popular TV serial, Mahabharat. The TV serial was based on the epic, the Mahabharata. The serial became one of the most popular TV serial of north India, and its peak Television Rating was around 86%.
... Another novel, named Topi Shukla also revolves around the similar sad theme of social tension between the two largest social groups of India, the Hindus and the Muslims....more
Great works resemble diamonds (one of the main characters is a jeweler) - when opened, they sparkle with intact brillianceWow, highly recommend this.
Great works resemble diamonds (one of the main characters is a jeweler) - when opened, they sparkle with intact brilliance multiplied.
This book is like that. As I progressed through it, I developed a perception of each character presented as a sympathetic, very human character. Not-so-great thinks and insecurities and inadequacies about each one were revealed, but my feelings for each of them were simply deepened. At the end, no character was on a pedestal, no character was a monster. All had done/were both good and bad. All had been accessible, opened through great writing for the reader's understanding.
The author, Dalia, had experienced much of what the girl in this story did (and, by the way, her character was probably the most shocking to me, with her internal goings-on - at her age - completely undoing me.) Her father has also been imprisoned, her family had also left Iran after. But it is also fiction, the best kind of fiction: fiction rooted in the writer's reality.
This book's effects on me include: a warm feeling for the country of Iran; interest in reading Iranian writers; somewhat of an (understanding) of those who gained power during that period, and others in similar positions; a need to process a bunch of new class-struggle ideas; a new resolve to always be gentle to those who are here from elsewhere, given what all they may have gone through; and an intense interest in everything this woman has written!
Now, in June 2009, extremely timely. And from this book and others, I imagine it will remain timely, one way or another....more
My daughter's English class' next book assignment. So, early preparation is key! I approach Shakespeare with trepidation. But this is kind of the mostMy daughter's English class' next book assignment. So, early preparation is key! I approach Shakespeare with trepidation. But this is kind of the most 'fun' one, carrying as it does so much superstition in the theater world, and having ghosts and witches and whatnot. And this edition looks like it makes it as manageable as possible.
After: on multiple levels: yuck. The three portents were familiar, must have read this in high school too. Noted this time the Christian terminology; and the notes mention that this may have been an aspect of the witch hunts which tore through multiple communities in paroxysms of hate. And there's a derogatory reference to Irish soldiers. Apart from all that, violence and evil within comes out and causes much grief and damage and then is answered. Thinking not to read this many more times hopefully.
It's interesting about how Macbeth wrote this in answer to King James I giving him praise and societal position etc.., and so changed details of what was presented accordingly.
Was fun to unlock the language to an extent though!...more
Shaila has a new book releasing, and is doing a book give-away for that. In the meantime, this looks really interesting! Not at MPL though, drat. Or tShaila has a new book releasing, and is doing a book give-away for that. In the meantime, this looks really interesting! Not at MPL though, drat. Or the bigger Hennepin County. Some day though....more
Blood - Urvashi Butalia (1997): India & Pak, a family torn by the Partition; very moving.
My Father's Raj - Mark Tully (1997); on the English psychBlood - Urvashi Butalia (1997): India & Pak, a family torn by the Partition; very moving.
My Father's Raj - Mark Tully (1997); on the English psyche w.r.t. India over the past century in the family of the writer, also interesting.
Erotic Politicians and Mullahs - Hanif Kureishi (1985): Very full of content, not simply-enough-for-me written, will need to re-read, possibly multiple times. All about Pak, and Pakistanis in England, and England, and England-Pakistan. Does help fill in a bit my huge question-vessel in regard to Pak. More of this writer may well be of interest.
White Lies - Amit Chaudhari (2001); Very distinctly honest about the gently brutal interactions of people with different levels of power, the texture of such a relationship. In the same vein (at my level of familiarity anyway) as Thrity Umrigar's 'Space Between Us' and Rohan Mistry's 'Fine Balance.'
Mumbai - Suketa Mehta (1997): Some of the same content as 'Maximum Ciy', but thought would be petty to skip it since I have it in my hands etc.. Felt more afterward like maybe I'd read more..
6 March, 1989 - Salman Rushdie (1989) - poem about that period. Wow, like it! Maybe his books won't be so impossible for me to go in with.
Kabir Street - R. K. Narayan (1997): Excellent.. the sort of writing I love, a slice of life. I'd known I'd like him already, and have some whole books of his. Can't wait!
Unsteady People - Ian Jack (1989) : Fascinating sociological essay basically, about attitudes of the powerful toward the powerless in India, in brutal honesty. Then a comparison to the same in England - with the conclusion that is the same in England, only there they cover it over with make believe hoo-ha to make themselves feel better. And that in India it's all in the open atleast.
What Bengali Widows Cannot Eat - Chitrita Banerji (1995) - interesting about the writer's mother, and how fervently she wanted to keep to all the ritual laws regarding widows in that region, and her (the writer's) reaction to her mother's response. Need to read more of this writer!
Jihadis - Pankaj Mishra, 2002 - fascinating all about the rise of the Taliban and the situation in Pakistan and all sorts of related aspects.. Is the clearest account I've read from someone who actually sought to understand the Taliban and their rise. Not quite 'sympathetic' maybe, but very close - very useful to read to get a fuller-than-trivial glimpse. Also usefully clear about anti-US anger and its causes.
And actually I did already read the next one: Two Indians on America - Amit Chaudhuri & Ramachandra Guha (2002).
Pariah, narrated by Viramma over ten years to Josiane and Jean-Luc Racine. This is non-fiction, an account of her life as midwife and agricultural worker in Karani, a village near Pondicherry. In this account Viramma the obstacles faced by political organizers who visit; some of the details about her activities as midwife, some information about her children (many of whom have died, who she grieves deeply), and a lot about evil spirits and other entities that her belief system includes. The presence of this piece makes me reconsider the whole book to an extent.. wait - who pulled this together? What might the overall message be? Hmm...
Serendip, by Ian Jack, short and ok.. Still was wary.
The Tutor, Nell Freudenberger - quite long, extensive info about the main character; probably more than the writer actually knew. Liked some things about it, not all of it.
Dervishes, Rory Stewart - excerpt from 'The Places Inbetween' - fascinating about the struggles within Pakistan for what -kind- of Islam is approved and acceptable; vs. what -kind- has been in place since the beginning. Totally changed my attitude about his book, will look forward to reading it now.
Little Durga, Shampa Banerjee - all about the filming of Satyajit Ray's filming of Pather Panchali! She was in it, as a child! Fascinating and awesome.
My Hundredth Year, Nirad C. Chaudhuri - wonderful, all about aspects of his writing, how it was received, written as of his 100th birthday. 'The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian,' 19051 was his first published book.
So, as is clear at this point, this book has a really wide scope of work and subject and format and writing style etc.. I was never one much for compilations, but working my way through this I've become aware that they can serve a huge purpose.
Sounds like a great book. Honestly seems to me like the existence of books like this and the power of communication today and people connecting acrossSounds like a great book. Honestly seems to me like the existence of books like this and the power of communication today and people connecting across vast distances are powerful reasons to still have hope today. ...more