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     Volume 4 Issue 38 | March 18, 2005 |

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Indian Writers

Clear Light of Day
Anita Desai
Houghton Mifflin Company; September 2000
ISBN: 0618074511
Format: Paperback, 192pp

Set in India's Old Delhi, Clear Light of Day is Anita Desai's tender, warm, and compassionate novel about family scars, the ability to forgive and forget, and the trials and tribulations of familial love. At the novel's heart are the moving relationships between the members of the Das family, who have grown apart from each other. Bimla is a dissatisfied but ambitious teacher at a women's college who lives in her childhood home, where she cares for her mentally challenged brother, Baba. Tara is her younger, unambitious, estranged sister, married and with children of her own. Raja is their popular, brilliant, and successful brother. When Tara returns for a visit with Bimla and Baba, old memories and tensions resurface and blend into a domestic drama that is intensely beautiful and leads to profound self-understanding.

Waiting for the Mahatma
R. K. Narayan
University of Chicago Press; March 1989
ISBN: 0226568288
Format: Paperback, 256pp

R.K. Narayan has been compared to Gogol in England, where he has acquired a well-deserved reputation. The comparison is apt for Narayan, is a writer of Gogol's stature, with the same gift for creating a provincial atmosphere in a time of change one is convincingly involved in this alien world without ever being aware of the technical devices Narayan so brilliantly employs. The experience of reading this very novel can be compared with one's first reaction to the great Russian novels: the fresh realisation of the common humanity of all peoples, underlain by a simultaneous sense of strangeness like one's own reflection seen in a green twilight.

An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire
Arundhati Roy
South End Press; September 2004
ISBN: 0896087271
Format: Paperback, 200pp

1997 Booker Prizewinner Arundhati Roy's An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire offers us sharp theoretical tools for understanding the New American Empire--a dangerous paradigm. She examines how resistance movements build power, using examples of nonviolent organising in South Africa, India, and the United States. Deftly drawing the thread through ostensibly disconnected issues and arenas, Roy pays particular attention to the parallels between globalisation in India, the devastation in Iraq, and the deplorable conditions many African Americans, in particular, must still confront. With Roy as our "guide", we may not be able to relax from the Sisyphean task of stopping the US juggernaut, but at least we are assured that the struggle for global justice is fortified by Roy's hard-edged brilliance.

These reviews are downloaded from various sources on the net. compiled by Sanyat Sattar


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