Of kanoon and love: Have I told you Broken April by Ismail Kadare is one of the most beautiful, poetic books I have ever read? I first read Kadare's Palace of Dreams, for the blurb seemed to give away a vague similarity to Orwell's 1984. 'Palace of Dreams' was good enough to pursue Kadare. Luckily, I found him in the British Council. I read 'The Pyramid' and 'Spring Flower Spring Frost' but while these three novels make fast, tense reading, they are not the kinds to haunt you. Broken April unsettles you with alien codes of conduct (Kanoon) in the backdrop of silent love in the misty mountains of Albania.
Just when Gjorg Berisha is walking up the mountains, racing against time to pay the blood tax, and as he makes his way back home, the black ribbon on his arm constantly reminding him — and others — of the death that he may soon deliver or take upon himself, the newly-married couple is wandering off in a pretty horse-drawn carriage somewhere nearby. Their eyes meet briefly and their paths take different destinies. In this brief moment the story takes a desolate turn. The description is so vivid, I could actually see the towers of refuge and the carriage chugging along the lonely road. Read this book to know the fascinating variety of life, culture and codes exist in the world we live in.
PS: I have been trying hard to buy a copy of the book, but am told its not available in India. Other two books I am hunting for since long (on recommendation by some dear blogger friends) are The Dharma Bums and Big Sur by Jack Keroauc. Anyone, any information on what store in India has a stock of these books, please let me know. I would be very grateful.
Just bought: The cover and blurb of Rooftops of Tehran, Mahbod Seraji's first novel, enticed me enough to buy it. I am down only some 40 pages, but don't like the second person present narrative style. I know I have read it before and liked it, but in this novel, it does not seem to fit. I am off all books for now for a novel that disinterests me halfway leaves me feeling too dejected, shall I say cheated? Saying this, I reserve all my rights to absolutely adore Rooftops of Tehran and change my opinion by the time I reach the last page. :)
Getting to know new writers: I consider Baruk's blog my window to a unique, different world I would not know of otherwise. The other day, I read up on Maori writer Witi Ihimaera and today I read about Kynpham sing nongkynrih who writes in Khasi and English. Baruk has posted a beautiful poem by Nonkynrih here. Read more about him in the article 'I write in a language that the elite frowns upon' by Trisha Gupta.