Linda's Reviews > Tilled Earth : Stories

Tilled Earth  by Manjushree Thapa
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Jan 03, 08

bookshelves: fiction, highly-recommended
Recommended for: writers and writers-at-heart, those interested in international affairs, armchair travelers
Read in July, 2007

This was a gift from a good friend from Nepal who visited us in Budapest. It was given in the hopes that it would help us to learn a bit about the life and spirit of Nepal. I absolutely loved this book and couldn't recommend it highly enough.

True to our friend's intention, the book gives glimpses through many windows into life in Nepal, a so-called "third world" country having emerged from war, in the midst of political and social reform, and unavoidably affected by globalization. The lives represented come from different genders, ages, ethnicities, nationalities, castes, classes, religions, education, and experience, presenting a pointillistic picture of present-day Nepal.

However, far from being just an illuminating armchair-traveler's survey of Nepal, Tilled Earth is also a masterpiece of creative writing. It is a collection of short stories, some of them micro-stories no more than a paragraph long. It is nothing short of astonishing how the author is able to create and evoke a universe of emotions, experience, and history for a character in just a few short lines. Within a short paragraph or two of these micro-stories, the reader is able to imagine volumes about the life of the character featured. And in the longer stories, the author expresses as much -- or more -- in what is left unsaid or untold, as in what is explicitly revealed.

Highly recommended. (If you can find it, however... It's not on Amazon, and since my copy came all the way from Nepal, I'm afraid i'm of no help...)
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