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Memories of Rain

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Of the fragile love between the assured Englishman, Anthony, and the bright but sheltered young Bengali woman, Moni, Gupta weaves a provocative and utterly empathetic tale of awakening and hard discovery, steeped in cultural protocol and taboo, in Jane Austen and the verse of Tagore.
Paperback, 198 pages
Published January 24th 1994 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 1992)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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K.D. Absolutely
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
One of the most exquisite proses that I've ever read and it is delivered via stream-of-consciousness. They say that Sunetra Gupta (born 1965) is the true heir of Virginia Woolf but for me her prose is even better because it is more contemporary; that means you don't have to imagine while reading some far away times in some distant alien land. When Gupta is explaining her settings and events by what her character the beautiful Moni thinks and feels, it is not hard for me to imagine the scenes esp ...more
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1001-books
Sometimes when I'm reading a book I get stuck on a word that is constantly repeated and I know no meaning of. This time it was "dessicated". Just saying.

It's a book of not many dots as the reflections, memories, reality and fantasies mingle and create a dreamlike story of a choice a woman has to make. Be aware, this mingle of everything is put down on a paper in never ending phrases separated only by commas. Which I've liked.
So very glad I decided to read Sunetra Gupta's challenging and wonderful book "Memories of Rain." The novel is the story of Moni and Anthony, who fell in love in India during a torrential rainstorm. Ten years later, after a move to England and the birth of their daughter, their love has gently receded like flood water and Moni is in almost constant contact with Anthony's lover. She plans to leave him and return to India on their daughter's sixth birthday, a cruel surprise designed to say everyth ...more
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shelf-of-wonders
As a long-time fan of Virginia Woolf, I approached this debut novel carefully because the cover blurb called Gupta Woolf's true heir. Ten years after reading this beautiful novel, I wish the author spent more time writing more fiction and less time involved in her PhD field of infectious diseases on the faculty of Oxford. Subsequent novels, while enjoyable, did not (for me) have quite the power of this one.

I like her stream-of-consciousness approach, the poetry of her words, and contrapuntal sol
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
gave it a chance but had to abandon - just over the top meaningless poetic over self indulgence to me.
Melissa Monster
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was ok

An essay written in the spring of 2012 for a class entitled 'Women in Literature.'


A History of Silence: Uses of Discourse in Memories of Rain

I’ve always been fascinated by the structure and features writers use to tell their stories. The example I always use is from a movie I once saw on cable. In one of the beginning scenes a couple knocks a flower pot off a window sill. Scenes later, after the audience has forgotten about the flowerpot, it comes crashing down to hit someone on th
Tina Tamman
This is a book I both loved and hated intensely. The story is very simple and moving, of a failing marriage, but it's the way it is told! Gupta's text is relentless: whole pages that are just one sentence, whole pages with no paragraphs, practically no dialogue. Very easy to get lost: are you in Calcutta or in London, is it the husband or somebody else? Quite a few times I got myself confused but going back and checking is hardly practical, not with this loose sentence structure. The writing is ...more
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
The story of a failing marriage told in beautiful prose that drew me along like the steady beat of rain, slipping in and out of places and times within a sentence. I had to concentrate on every word or I would find the narrative had jumped ten years without my noticing. I couldn't read a lot at one sitting, or it would be like overdosing on chocolate. ...more
Ken Moraff
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A really great writing style, and a compelling story to go with it
Oct 25, 2012 added it
luminous, lucious prose.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
A Sahitya Academy Award winner, it too a lot of hard work to lay my hands on this. Finally got a reasonably priced secondhand copy from US.

Not much to say. It is one of those books where every noun has adjectives and you often have little idea of what is meant. No afternoon is just an afternoon, it is dense or slowing or another kind that you can assign meaning to as per your life experiences or even just let be.

There is a nice build up in the story but it also never seemed to progresses definit
Helen Jones
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it liked it
As such Sunetra Gupta’s debut novel, Memories of Rain, is nothing new. There have been countless of time where we have read about an Indian living abroad and the various cultural difficulties. However Gupta does approach this often used plot differently.

Here the power lies in the writing style. Gupta is very descriptive and a good number of them take up quite a few pages. It is not only material objects either, Gupta excels when she is describing the raw emotions running though her characters.

Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1001-list-books
Despairing of his constantly wandering eye and cheating ways, Moni, the Indian wife of an immature Englishman, thinks back to the various points of their relationship on the day that she has decided to leave him. The novel is a hynoptic meditation, flitting between the heavy intensity of their early days, the reality of making a life in a new country, and the pain of losing your husband to another woman. It's a little over written, lasting a little too long, but there are some beautiful images o ...more
Judith Rich
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I thought this was a fairly straightforward story of a failing marriage wrapped up as something else by using quotes from Rabindranath Tagore and over-use of flashbacks-within-flashbacks to the point of confusion - sometimes more than one flashback in the same sentence, for goodness' sake! The story itself was quite nice.

I think the Tagore poetry might lose something in translation, because I wasn't feeling its magic.

Read as one of the 1001 BTRBYD.
Oct 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned-quit
I tried, but I just couldn't do it.
This writing style, with it's run on sentences and excessive detail, just isn't my thing.
Sara K White
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2016
Leigh Matthews
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Oct 03, 2013
Ashok Banker
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Sep 26, 2011
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Aug 19, 2019
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Sep 15, 2018
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Mar 16, 2012
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Sep 23, 2018
Jeff B Arcand
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Dec 29, 2014
rated it it was ok
Jul 30, 2019
Mani Kandan
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Oct 27, 2019
Debraj Bhattacharya
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Feb 05, 2017
Karen Hoehne
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Aug 08, 2018
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Reading 1001: Memories of Rain by Sunetra Gupta 1 3 Aug 29, 2019 04:34PM  

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Sunetra Gupta is an acclaimed novelist, essayist and scientist. In October 2012 her fifth novel, So Good in Black, was longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. In 2009 she was named as the winner of the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award for her scientific achievements. Sunetra, who lives in Oxford with her husband and two daughters, is Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at O ...more

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