2011 South Asian Challenge

Stumbled upon a most curious challenge the other day. A challenge that involves an activity I count as one of my Three Great Passions, reading. For the past many years now, I have been increasingly leaning towards English writing from South Asia, with an unabashed preference for both established and emerging Indian writers.

For a reviewer of books, leisure reading takes a huge beating, as by implication and force of habit, I just can’t seem to stop myself from judging. It is primarily to overcome this annoying practice that I accepted the challenge. And, to an extent, in the hope that my crowded bedside table will begin to breathe again. Which should be easy enough, for I have my bar perched at the highest level, the South Asian Guru, at ten books or more.

Since the beginning of the year I have read books by two Indian authors, Dear Agony Aunt by Aradhika Sharma and Anuja Chauhan’s Battle of Bittora. I am presently reading India: A Traveller’s Literary Companion edited by Chandrahas Choudhury. This will be followed by Lessons in Forgetting by Anita Nair. Other than these certainties, here is a projected (expected to change as soon as I post, so no gospel, this) reading list:

  1. Empires Of The Indus by Alice Albinia
  2. The Difficulty of Being Good by Gurcharan Das
  3. Way To Go by Upamanyu Chatterjee
  4. Stranger To History by Aatish Taseer
  5. The Emissary by Anirudha  Bahal
  6. Jawahar Lal Nehru: Civilizing a Savage World by Nayantara Sahgal

So who’s to stop you…? Get, Set, Go.






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