Happy Wednesday everyone! I am hoping and praying that everyone is safe and is enjoying the fourth month of the year. Wednesdays also mean 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:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What have you finished reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What are you currently reading?

Before the month started, I have decided that it is going to be another themed month. Whilst I immersed in African literature in March, I am currently journeying across Asia for my Asian literature month. My journey has brought me to 19th century India, particularly in the city of Lucknow. Published in 1899, many consider Mirza Hadi Ruswa’s Umrao Jan Ada as the first Urdu novel. It is the story of the titular Umrao Jan Ada who was born as Amiran in Faizabad. However, she was kidnapped and was eventually sold to Khanum Jaan, the head tawaif in Lucknow. Under Khanum, she was taught classical music and dance. The narrative’s structure was interesting as it marries poetry and prose. The author also made himself present in the narrative as he convinced Umrao to tell her story to him. So far, I am riveted by the story of courtesans despite some stereotypes.

What have you finished reading?

When I learned that Chang-rae Lee was publishing a new work this year, I was up to my toes in anticipation. It has been years since I last read one of his works. Thankfully, it didn’t take me long before I got to purchase a copy of his new work. My Year Abroad tells the story of Tiller Bardmon. ng a copy of the book and luckily enough, I managed to purchase one. My Year Abroad is the story of Tiller Bardmon. He is one-eighth Asian (I guess that needed to be emphasized) living in suburban American city he refused to name but instead gave it the nickname Stagno. Weaving in and out of the present, Tiller recounts his experience accompanying Pong, a Chinese entrepreneur, in his travel to Asia. During his year abroad, he got to meet a motley crew of characters such as Drum and his daughter, Constance. Compared to A Gestured Life or Native Speaker, My Year Abroad was lighter although it explored seminal and timely themes. It lacked nuance and whilst it was interesting, I found it a little predictable and reminded me of my experience with Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot.

What will you read next?

I am looking to pursue my April Asian Literature Month with one of the most anticipated novels this year. Klara t\and the Sun is Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel since he was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature. I was one of those who looked forward to the book and I am very grateful I didn’t have to wait long to purchase a copy of the book. I can’t wait to read his eighth novel. Another book I have in line is Elif Shafak’s controversial novel, The Bastard of Istanbul which I purchased two years ago even though I barely had any iota on what it was. Later in that year, Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction. This made me look forward to reading her controversial work.

Thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading!