Seems like potentially the perfect antidote to my current conundrum of hard-to-read Great Literature ala my daughter's class, and tedious Mom-sourced...moreSeems like potentially the perfect antidote to my current conundrum of hard-to-read Great Literature ala my daughter's class, and tedious Mom-sourced current novels..
And starts out engagingly interestingly!
I've wanted to get around to this for so long, am very excited! ---- Finished 2/26/10: This book deserves a really excellent review. Unfortunately, my time is overcommitted right now especially, and am going through a transition as well. Plus, I just want to re-read it instead of writing anything about it right now!
So, rather than doing any misc paragraphs right now, I think I'll start something in Word and see if it becomes anything good enough to include.
Until then, I'll just list some of my favorite aspects of this: Multiple points of view Day-to-day life details Intimacy details Self-identity construction insets in which a character's life is explored fully, fascinating lots of political content feels true India
If anyone (in the US) is thinking about 'living simply', this book is a great starting point. Middle-class in India can entail a very, very modest lifestyle by US standards. And a couple times in the book, a character feels bad about the luxury around them. Only, they're talking about a towel, or a mattress. This book is great for really getting a serious glimpse at how others - others who are just as real, just as whole, just as smart, just as good, etc.. etc.. - live with much, much less. My extensive clutter looks very different to me now.(less)
First read: (9/1/08) Really loved this. The initial portions of the book were intense and fascinating, and then there kept being more layers. Really en...moreFirst read: (9/1/08) Really loved this. The initial portions of the book were intense and fascinating, and then there kept being more layers. Really enjoyed it and would like to read sequels if they existed and so on. The idea of cooking to wellness had a serious impact on my as well, I'm feeling, now that time has passed, subconsciously. Thanks, Amulya!
Second read: (2/5/10) Needed something absorbing that was smaller than Sacred Games, this rose to the surface. I had been thinking about it generally already, was the perfect time. And the second read was a good one - could see the threads that became the tapestry earlier on than initially; could have a richer emotional response due to knowing the twists and turns ahead, could glimpse things more completely. Really enjoy the food aspects. Beyond that, it underwhelmed me slightly - her work is settling in to its more permanent, still very positive position in my authors-known collection. Lots to mull over, about relationships and functionality and wholeness..(less)
I know I'll probably already have been exposed to most of what's in this book from other sources, but if it's complete and well-written, will be good...moreI know I'll probably already have been exposed to most of what's in this book from other sources, but if it's complete and well-written, will be good reference for future etc.. Another GR review just mentioned it, so.. probably haven't already been exposed to *all* of it.(less)
The writing style of this book was not my cup of tea. And, like his other book, the first third or so was kind of off-putting. But Chetan is one of th...moreThe writing style of this book was not my cup of tea. And, like his other book, the first third or so was kind of off-putting. But Chetan is one of those writers who demands and rewards persistence. By the end of the book, it's worth a slog. And now it will be a film, with Aamir Khan no less! Can hardly wait!(less)
Like his other one, I didn't like the writing style of this one or the first third or so. Once the snippets of characterization add up to what I need...moreLike his other one, I didn't like the writing style of this one or the first third or so. Once the snippets of characterization add up to what I need to get involved, I like it more. Although the whole create-crisis-for-job-security thing didn't really appeal that much. But all in all, was very interesting to read a viewpoint which I hadn't had any contact with before. (less)
I really gained a lot of perspective from this book, it was great for that. I love how he kind of deconstructs each unpleasantness and gets to the bas...moreI really gained a lot of perspective from this book, it was great for that. I love how he kind of deconstructs each unpleasantness and gets to the basis for people's attitudes and behaviors. Could have used more editing etc.. but was great even so!(less)
I wrote the current index for this book, which was written by a family member. I actually started the index for it before even taking the indexing cla...moreI wrote the current index for this book, which was written by a family member. I actually started the index for it before even taking the indexing class, which was interesting. Then did it for real a while later. Anyway, this is the primary writing on Primary Nursing, a best-practices concept for critical care (hospital) nursing. It looks at the history of the organization of nursing to create perspective on what is optimal now. It lays out the framework for Primary Nursing, describes the implementation process, and coaches how to overcome roadblocks. An excellent resource for the Nursing Professional!(less)
I indexed this book as well. It is basically Primary Nursing for today's critical care (hospital) environment. Contains a great deal of both theoretic...moreI indexed this book as well. It is basically Primary Nursing for today's critical care (hospital) environment. Contains a great deal of both theoretical and practical information for anyone interested in optimal nursing practice.(less)
With the width, depth and breadth of the crisis/opportunity we're facing, probably multiple voices and mutliple sets of solutions will need to be empl...moreWith the width, depth and breadth of the crisis/opportunity we're facing, probably multiple voices and mutliple sets of solutions will need to be employed. The ideas in this book are likely a part of them.(less)
This collection of short stories is massive and fascinating; succeeding in its goal (in my opinion) of presenting life at the edge of multiple culture...moreThis collection of short stories is massive and fascinating; succeeding in its goal (in my opinion) of presenting life at the edge of multiple cultures as lived by folks of South Asian ethnicity. First, about the name. The word 'wallah' in South Asia means some or all of the following: vendor of, craftsman of, expert in. It is a very common term there, and carries connotations of abundant supply of all that is good. In the introduction the editor, Shyam Selvadurai, describes his journey and struggle of self-identification as he went from Sri Lanka to Canada (moved at 19). He uses the term diaspora over immigrant to include weight to each person's (sometimes secret) history, and also to include the struggles of each person in reshaping their identity in relation to both their old and new home. Those areas are some of the main essential contents of this collection. While these themes are very specific, the truth of them reaches the universal. For instance, in Anita Desai's 'Winterscape,' the space between people who are in intimate relationships is explored with ringing clarity. Anita clearly creates four characters: a man who moved to the West, the white woman he married, and the man's two mothers who remained in India. And the moment captured is his wife's defining as 'other' the man's two moms, in their reaction to snow. He feels bewildered and somewhat hurt by her reaction. In that is contained so much of the human experience: and thinking about ok/not ok; good/ bad fascinates me. Another universal (and particular) aspect of life included in this collection is religious extremism, which is cut wide open in Zulfikar Ghose's 'The Marble Dome,' which explores Pakistani society and is another of my favorites. In editing this collection, Shyam includes aspects of his own being. One of those aspects is that he is gay which - in many South Asian cultures - continues to be outside the definition of normal. I realized when I was reading some of the stories that I was reacting as myself, a straight-but-not-narrow US resident who's been aware and supporting of lgbtq culture for over 20 years; and that the cultures involved in these diasporas were very different. In those contexts, the sub-set of these stories with lgbtq content are ground-breaking, brave and probably difficult for many in the intended audience. Two in particular are especially poignant. The first, by Shyam Selvadurai himself, is called 'Pigs Can't Fly,' and tells the story of gender definitions being imposed on a person who had been happily living outside the norm to that point. His mother, answering the question of 'Why?' would say: "Because the sky is so high and pigs can't fly, that's why." Seems as valid a support for normalcy as anything I've ever come across! The second, Sandip Roy’s ‘Auld Lang Syne’ has lingered on my mind. It is about the reunion of two men who had been lovers, on the return of one from San Francisco to India. And mentions a third man, a mutual friend of these two, who has committed suicide. It shows the three choices available to people outside their culture's norms: escape away, suicide, stay and pretend and be internally dead. That later choice is in place for millions of course, in every community almost, required by a variety of conditions. Brings 'Angels in America' and 'Brokeback Mountain' to mind, which show that the pain and damage of that choice is not restricted to the individual, but is shared by their spouse and others. Other themes in this ambitious collection include cultural differences related to historical and cultural variations. He discusses in the introduction some of these primary divisions: the first wave of movement in the 1830's, when South Asians were brought in to many British colonies (in particular) to replace slaves; the second movement beginning in the mid-1950's, in which people moved to major metropolitan centers of the West. One fascinating tidbit about British motives in encouraging businesses to import South Asian populations: 'The aim was to get people in as guest workers who, even after they acquired citizenship, would continue to function as "passive citizens" as opposed to "active citizens" who participated and represented the nation-state of Britain." That is fascinating to me, but not referenced, and the stories (those few set in England) don't really get into that sort of political question at all. I'd love to learn more about that. Anyway, additional variances among the writers he describes include relationship to South Asia - some were born elsewhere and have never visited, most travel back intermittently, regularly or frequently. Some are 1st generation, others are 2nd, 3rd, even 4th generation. While this anthology is in English, the language is a huge variability, as native vernacular is used in quite a few stories (mainly those by writers of that earlier migration): and for me that was a big challenge. In a longer work incorporating native voice, one gets used to it. In this collection, each time it's a transition to master, and each vernacular is significantly different. Fascinating, but I hadn't been ready for that. I personally found it challenging as well to determine the setting of each story, the time period, and details like that. Comes with the short-story territory; and I am disadvantaged with not having the background to catch the significance of the information that is given much of the time. What it all adds up to is that this collection of short stories both demands and rewards active reading. Prior to reading each story, there is information available about the writer and their context that is of use to contextualize their work; the content then is rich and varied on all these multiple axis. And be warned: Shyam is apparently among those who believe that Indian Diaspora in inextricably linked with India’s extreme poverty: the last story in the collection - 'Chokra', by Numair Choudhury - is a short, brutal instance of that shocking misery. This would be a great book to include for any number of classes on culture, history, identity, population, work, many different topics. I personally would encourage the reader to take your time and read according to what you are seeking and/or slowly, one at a time. Rushing through would only dilute the essence and dull the fine points of this breathtaking collection.(less)
I read this and it really helped me get out of myself and my own head and have more realistic expectations for the workplace. It is true, as my ex- sa...moreI read this and it really helped me get out of myself and my own head and have more realistic expectations for the workplace. It is true, as my ex- said, 'it's not that simple.' But even so, just the overall ambience that she creates in this book is useful for me to immerse in every so often. (less)