Good Reads

July 13, 2018 10:45 AM The Week Bureau


The Crisis Within,  House of Leaves and Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows

The Crisis Within by G N Devy, Price: Rs 638

Nearly one in every 12 humans is a young Indian for whom meaningful education is of critical importance. A good education will not only help our youth get jobs and build fulfilling careers, it will also lead to the widening of our collective imagination and the shaping of the way we think. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is a lack of infrastructure, adequate funding and genuine autonomy within educational institutions, departments within those institutions, and individuals who teach in those departments. And this is not all. There is also the question of the nature of knowledge that is relevant to our rapidly modernizing country that needs to be dealt with. If knowledge is the core of education and if education lays the very foundation of a nation, the author argues that it is of critical importance that the plight of educational institutions and the need to generate knowledge appropriate to India are addressed without any delay. 

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski, Price: Rs 1840
Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth – musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies – the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children. Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices. The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal, Price: Rs 638

Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a “creative writing” course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community. Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.


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