Long listed for the Orange Prize 2011 and the IMPAC Dublin Award 2012, Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela is a chronicle of a clash of perspectives; of a family and a people who are at the threshold of change within and outside. Set in the 1950s’ Sudan, Lyrics Alley presents a very accomplished portrait of a country contemplating independence, which she has won after four bloodied decades. The fact only makes the premise – that history is created at such a slow and painful pace – more appealing. Yet, Aboulela has steered clear of references to a violent present or the Darfur issue in the course of her narration. Continue reading “A chronicle of clashing perspectives”
Second books are the acid test for an author. And Ravinder Singh, whose first book was a huge hit and sold more than 250000 copies, is on a roll again. The run down to the public release of his second book, ‘Can Love Happen Twice’, was surrounded by frenzied anticipation and now with the book in hand the readers are in love again. TG speaks to Ex Infosys techie Ravinder Singh.
His first book, ‘I too had a love story’, was an autobiographical account of how he lost his fiancée in an accident, and how he coped with life post the tragedy. Ravinder was working with Infosys, Bangalore at the time. Techgoss (TG) has followed the soaring trajectory of Ravinder Singh when he first published, and interviewed him again when the debut novel broke all records for sales.
The hint of a new novel, coming out with Penguin in December 2011 was given at his second interview to Techgoss, but the premise and the name of the new book was kept well under the covers. Can Love Happen Twice was released on December 16 at Jaipur, at the Reliance Time Out followed by Gurgaon, Delhi on 17th at Reliance again, and then at Lucknow, at the Phoenix United Mall on the 19th. The events were full house, and Red FM was the radio partner promoting the book. In fact, their RJs were present in all these cities.
Ravinder is headed for his own city Chandigarh on the 24th of December and the function will be at the Press Club in Sector 27-B at 5 p.m. There are releases planned at Kolkota, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Vadodara in January and it looks like a hectic tour, with his fans screaming for more appearances if the Facebook pages are any indication. They are also already asking about the third book and that in indeed a sign for a winner-author. What say folks?
The book under review won its author, Téa Obreht, the Orange Prize 2011. To win a prestigious book award at 25 must feel good. Just as good as the accolades stacked up in a short career: previous Orange Prize winner Ann Patchett called her “tremendously talented”; Irish literary genius and academic Colum McCann said, “she is the most thrilling literary discovery in years”; T C Boyle called her “towering new talent”. Téa Obreht has also been the youngest person on the 2010 list from The New Yorker’s list of best 20 American writers under 40. Continue reading “Of tigers, myths and wars”