And it’s the last Wednesday of February! Who’d have thought that March is just knocking right over the corner. I guess time passes quickly when you’ve nothing much to do. As it is Wednesday, it is also time for another WWW Wednesday update. WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme originally hosted by SAM@TAKING ON A WORLD OF WORDS. The mechanics for WWW Wednesday is quite simple, you just have to answer three questions:
- What are you currently reading?
- What have you finished reading?
- What will you read next?
What are you currently reading?
My immersion into Man Booker Prize winner and shortlisted works next brought me to Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. The title is familiar for it was adapted into a film. However, when I first watched it, I didn’t have an inkling it was adapted from a Man Booker Prize-winning novel. As laid out by the author in his opening notes, he started writing the novel after undergoing a period of self-doubt. The novel is the story of Piscine Molitor Patel, a young man born in India’s special territory of Pondicherry. Because of his unusual name – he was named after a Parisian swimming pool – he was often bullied by his peers and schoolmates. I already have an iota on how the story is going to conclude (because of the movie) but I am still looking forward to what the book has in store.
What have you finished reading?
In the past week, I managed to read two novels shortlisted for the prestigious literary award. Graham Swift’s Waterland was shortlisted for the 1983 Man Booker Prize and is the story of Tom Crick. For 30 years, he worked as a history teacher but he recently got enticed by his schoolmaster to voluntarily retire as a result of a scandal. As Tom reflects on his years of teaching history, he inevitably walked down memory lane. He has one history lesson to teach. In a nostalgic and intimate narrative, Tom related the story of his families – the Cricks and the Atkinsons – and how their stories are tied up to the history of Fenland in Eastern England.
From England, my next book next took me to another fictional setting – Q. Written in the rich mantle of magical realism, Salman Rushdie’s Shame is a retelling of the tumultuous friendship between two of modern Pakistan’s most influential politicians – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Rushdie’s third novel, the narrative was built around familiar themes Rushdie tackled in his succeeding works such as the colonialism, the problems arising post-colonialism, and politics in general. Shame is a a term that often appears in the narrative and is often equated to violence. It was primarily explored through the stories of Sufiya Zinobia, the daughter of Raza Hyder; and Omar Khayyam, the novel’s main character.
What will you read next?
To finish the month strong, I am looking at two African novels. Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut novel, We Need New Names was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. It was one of my random purchases during the 2018 Big Bad Wolf Sale, a book I picked up notwithstanding how sparse my knowledge on the author and the book was; both were unfamiliar. It’s been nearly three years since I bought it so I guess it is about time to indulge in what it has in store. Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe is a popular name in the world of African literature (and literature in general). His Things Fall Apart, which I read in 2016, was one of my first immersions into the vast African continent and gave me insights into Nigerian society and culture. Fast forward five years later, I recently bought a copy of one of his works, Anthills of the Savannah, which was shortlisted for the 1987 Man Booker Prize.
Thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading!