Hmmm so I am the Hungry Reader. The one who reads. The one who is constantly reading or wanting to read constantly. This blog is all about the books I have read, the ones that I am reading and gems that I plan to read in the future or whenever it arrives.
Title: The Jungle
Author: Elizabeth Bowen
Taken from: The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen
Elizabeth Bowen is one of those writers who grow on you. It has been years since I have been reading her. She is almost a friend now. One of those best friends, I can safely say and no matter how dark her writing can get, I somehow find it comforting and seek refuge in it, all the time.
Today was one of those days and her book was right beside me. So I turned to a page and it happened to be “The Jungle”. This story is rather unique according to me. It speaks of adolescence – of friendship and at the same time, there is this understated tragedy at the heart of it. It is about teenage girls and the plot behind the school, they refer to as “the jungle”.
The story is striking and will appeal to people of all ages and perhaps also remind you of your teenage years. Bowen is not sugar coating anything. She talks about everything under the sun – relationships, sexuality and the conditions that surround them. A read not to be missed.
Title: The Thing in the Forest
Author: A.S Byatt
Taken from the Collection: Little Black Book of Stories
A.S. Byatt loves a good, dark story to not warm the bones on a winter’s night. She likes the tales to be murky and full of webs and mazes. “The Thing in the Forest” is one such story I read in this series or rather challenge of mine.
It is a chilling tale of how we protect ourselves from the dark and how we just want to remain in the light.
Penny and Primrose meet on a train, in a period of war and how one thing leads to another and they find themselves in a forest. What is most horrifying is that these two are just very young girls and Byatt does not tone down the horror. A read that will chill the bones.
Author: Mahasweta Devi
Taken from the Collection: Till Death Do Us Part by Mahasweta Devi
Mahasweta Devi is one of the few women short story writers and novelists in India, who know exactly what emotion to derive from the reader. That is my view on all her writing. She is beyond brilliant according to me and the sad part is that very few people have heard of her.
“Talaq” is a wonderful story of a marriage, a divorce and strange enough (well not so much) love that transcends all bonds that break. Kuli finds herself on the brink of a divorce in the heat of a moment. Her husband divorces her and yet she defies all society and continues to be with him, despite being divorced.
The nuances in Mahasweta Devi’s stories are superbly portrayed. A reader who loves short stories must read Mahasweta Devi’s stories for the very much needed overall perspective.
Author: Richard Yates
Taken from the Collection: Eleven Kinds of Loneliness
Richard Yates’ stories are grim and full of misery. They are about normal everyday people leading grim lives and in that sometimes, he throws in a glimmer of hope and takes it away as cruelly from the reader. I have always loved his novels and today it was his turn in the short story project.
“Builders” is about a cab driver who hires a young writer to turn his experiences to fiction. The story is well bound and told with a detached tone and yet something about it (perhaps humour – a little bit of it) pulls the reader right in. He describes the two worlds that converge most aptly. You can almost experience it and smell the inside of the cab as you read the story.