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:
- Empires Of The Indus by Alice Albinia
- The Difficulty of Being Good by Gurcharan Das
- Way To Go by Upamanyu Chatterjee
- Stranger To History by Aatish Taseer
- The Emissary by Anirudha Bahal
- Jawahar Lal Nehru: Civilizing a Savage World by Nayantara Sahgal
So who’s to stop you…? Get, Set, Go.