Book Review: The Garlic Ballads by Mo Yan, Howard Goldblatt (Translator)

The Garlic Ballads by Mo Yan My rating: 5 of 5 stars Brutal, unyielding, and flummoxing in its violent telling, The Garlic Ballads may have been more aptly titled, The Garlic Laments. This book is shocking and nearly absurd in its rampaging cruelty. I spent most of my time reading it with my eyes bulging […]

Book Review: Quicksand by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

Quicksand by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki My rating: 5 of 5 stars This was such an utterly fascinating read. What begins innocuously as a tale of forbidden love between two women quickly unravels into a novel of grand deceit, depravity, narcissism, blackmail, and deliberate wickedness. More than once while reading it I was reminded of Sarah Waters […]

For God’s Sake – an open letter to a Muslim terrorist

“This pen, this perfectly innocent pen.” So said Harold Pinter. Going by the news in Paris yesterday when masked gunmen stormed into the offices of Charlie Hebdo and killed, among others, cartoonists, editors, and journalists. Their crime? Cartoons of the prophet. Pretty tasteless. Maybe funny. But it’s a satirical perspective. But the pen has once […]

Know your goddesses and learn something about your women

I really, really like Upworthy. Their tagline best describes what they’re here for and what they’re about:  ‘Things that matter. Pass ’em on.’ So when I saw them endorse and post a link to this ridiculous ad campaign doing the rounds on the Internet recently, I was part-appalled, part-sorry, and part-pissed off. Appalled because it’s […]

“Sometimes it is better if you cannot find the right words. In some religions, everything can be destroyed with a word.”

I prefer not to reproduce lengthy excerpts on my blog, but when I read Anushka Jasraj‘s Radio Story in Granta, I found myself scribbling and tweeting lines as I went along. The entire story is elegantly rendered without losing the grittiness that is the ultimate residue of truth and human behavior. You can read it here in its entirety, but this […]