Saturday, February 28, 2004

Saturday morning...the chickadees are singing their "All's well with the world" song of spring. And I face an office that is inundated with reading material, so much so that it's hard for me to focus on any one project. Weekend task: massive organization required.

So! I imagine you may have heard that Monica Ali has been awarded the Kiriyama Prize, for the best work of fiction about people living in the Pacific Rim and South Asia. I just picked up Brick Lane this week and have only read as far as the first couple of chapters, but the book begins with a bang--extraordinarily intense writing. Power-charged. Of course, it's impossible to tell if a book will sustain the punch it carries in the first few chapters, but I'm impressed. Brick Lane has definitely ensnared me. If you're browsing in a bookstore this weekend, check out the first chapter about the birth of Nazneen in a Bangladeshi village. Wow.

The dilemma facing me now is that my book group has decided to read The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri for our meeting in March. I have difficulty reading consecutive books about women struggling in cultures that stultify and oppress them, so I don't know what I'll do. What I do know is that I thought Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies was one of the finest short story collections I've ever read. And I do intend to read The Namesake at some point.

For those new to my blog: When I provide a link on an author, I strive to provide access to a lengthy interview.


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