Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree

Blurb from Goodreads

An eighty-year-old woman slips into a deep depression at the death of her husband, then resurfaces to gain a new lease on life. Her determination to fly in the face of convention – including striking up a friendship with a hijra (trans) woman – confuses her bohemian daughter, who is used to thinking of herself as the more ‘modern’ of the two.

At the older woman’s insistence, they travel back to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.

Rather than respond to tragedy with seriousness, Geetanjali Shree’s playful tone and exuberant wordplay results in a book that is engaging, funny, and utterly original, at the same time as being an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries, whether between religions, countries, or genders.

Why I Want To Read It

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that you were able to rest and relax during the weekend. I also hope that you had/you will have a great start to the week. With April 15 is just over the horizon, I know accountants are on the final stretch of the busy season. I hope we all get to “survive” the next two weeks. Beyond the busy season, I hope everyone is doing well in body, mind, and spirit. Meanwhile, I hope that the rest of the week will be a good one for everyone. I hope that the downward trend in COVID19 cases will continue and that we don’t get complacent once again. These are small rays of light but they still provide hope in these dark times. I can’t wait for this pandemic to end.

Earlier today, I finished Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley and I just started reading Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!. O Pioneers! is my second novel by Cather. Apart from this update, I am also going to take the opportunity to share a book that is on my (perpetually) growing list. After all, this is a Goodreads Monday update. In March, I have featured works by female writers because of the celebration of Women’s History Month. As I still have no clear design on what my April reading month is going to look like, I have decided to feature random books in this weekly update. For this week, I am featuring a book I recently added to my want-to-read list, Geetanjali Shree’s Tomb of Sand.

Prior to this year, I have never heard of Shree, a Hindi novelist, and short story writer. She has, so far, written three novels but all in her native Hindi. Nevertheless, her works have been translated into English, French, German, Serbian, and Korean. Tomb of Sand, published in 2018 as Ret Samadhi, was her first novel to be published in the United Kingdom. Because of this, the book was eligible for the 2022 International Booker Prize. It was the book’s longlisting for the aforementioned literary prize that I first encountered both the book and the writer. It was also because of this that the book was added to my reading list. However, unlike Violaine Huisman’s The Book of Mother, I still haven’t found a local supplier of the book. I am fervently crossing my fingers.

Apart from its longlisting for the 2022 International Booker Prize, the book’s premise caught my attention. Actually, even the book’s length made me want to read it; it is nearly 700 pages long. Anyway, on the premise, what further piqued my interest in the book was the hijra character. I first encountered the term in Megha Majumdar’s A Burning and is one of the facets of Hindi culture that I want to read more of. With its heft, I think Tomb of Sand will at least provide me a deeper insight into hijras and their lives. I may be wrong though but still, I want to check out what the book has to offer.

Again, there are quite a lot of reasons for me to look forward to the Tomb of Sand. The prospect of reading a new voice and gaining more cultural insights always fills me with excitement. How about you fellow reader? What book written by a female author are you looking forward to? I hope you could share it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday, and as always, happy reading!