Monday, March 4, 2024

February fiction: Six recently published books to read over four weeks

The Earth Quakes: Late Anti-Stories, Subimal Misra, translated from the Bengali by V Ramaswamy

Subimal Misra – anarchist, activist, anti-establishment, experimental “anti-writer”– was a literary genius among India’s greatest contemporary masters. Misra’s works are confrontational and challenge and provoke readers morally, politically, and in their expectations of literature.

The Earth Quakes: Late Anti-Stories brings together his final creations: 20 stories written between 1991 and 2010, their subjects ranging from the “global” – the Gulf War of 1991, which heralded the post-Cold War unipolar world – to the very “local” – the Singur movement of 2006 that led to the unseating of the all-powerful CPI(M), which had ruled the state of West Bengal since 1977.

Lorenzo Searches for the Meaning of Life, Upamanyu Chatterjee

One summer morning in 1977, 19-year-old Lorenzo Senesi of Aquilina, Italy, drives his Vespa motorscooter into a speeding Fiat and breaks his forearm. It keeps him in bed for a month, and his boggled mind thinks of unfamiliar things: Where has he come from? Where is he going? And how to find out more about where he ought to go?

When he recovers, he enrols for a physiotherapy course. He also joins a prayer group and visits Praglia Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in the foothills outside Padua.

The monastery…

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