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[personal profile] asra
A very happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] analineblue! I hope you have a lovely day. <3

In academia land, this morning I reached what I thought was my office and found, to my horror, that a picture of a saint had been pasted on the door. Then I looked up and saw that the name above the door wasn't mine; I'd gotten off the lift on the wrong floor. Phew.

The last two books I read won't need much time to review, haha. Flipped: this is the very last time I let my students talk me into reading teenage heterosexual romance! I did love the central idea of seeing things from a different perspective.

I suspect The Strange Library is to Murakami what Haroun and the Sea of Stories is to Rushdie: a quirky, potentially magical but ultimately disappointing tale. Not recommended, unless you have 45 minutes to kill on a book that has more pictures than text.

The best for last: Vikram Chandra's gorgeous, gorgeous Love and Longing in Bombay. I have five more pages to read, but will leave them for after work so that I can savour them. The end of the book also has a few pages from the beginning of Sacred Games, since the protagonist of that book is introduced in one of the five stories in Love and Longing. One of the five is a gut-wrenching story about a gay relationship, and I won't write about it just now because it deserves a re-read and serious reflection. But here's a bit from the last story, magic realism at its best that's worthy of Marquez himself. This is after news of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki reaches a tiny village:

First it was just one child. [...] A week later all the children in the village were splintered from head to toe. Looking at each other they wept with fear, and their parents were afraid to hold them. Pattadevi said it first. One morning her baby, ten months old, gurgled against her thigh, and Pattadevi raised her head, forgetful and so smiling, and she saw the pulsating beat of a tiny heart. Pattadevi shut her eyes tight, and in her anguish she said, "Amma's son brought it home, with his Japanese bomb." That was then the understanding of the village, true and agreed upon.
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