Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quoted in the Hindu 'Business Line'

(Extract from Business Line article) Monday, Apr 23, 2007
Great to have a day dedicated to `celebrating reading'

To mark the occasion of World Book Day, Business Line sought to obtain the views of a few authors on what the day means to them.

Come electronic communication come Internet, books will go on forever. They are the lifeblood of a country's culture.
M. V. Kamath

To me, books are the next closest to living beings.
They speak to you, commiserate, understand... and so long as you respect them, they will stick by you.
They almost have a mind of their own!
Derek Bose

The day means one must finish reading all those books one always meant to read like classics by Leo Tolstoy and the third Harry Potter or throw them out of the house and admit once and for all that you will never get around to reading them EVER. The day also means quoting from Pierre Bayard's bestseller How to Talk About Books That You Haven't Read.
Shinie Antony

It's great to have a day dedicated to `celebrating reading'. When we are living in the times of 300-plus TV Channels, DVDs, gaming and endless distractions, this can especially play a role in bringing back to children the importance of the written word. I can recall how the wonderful world of fantasy definitely enriched my own childhood!"
Nandita da Cunha

Review by Usha K R in SAWNET

Extract from SAWNET (The South Asian Women's NETwork Forum) review by Usha KR. Usha is the author of Sojourn (Manas, 1998) and The Chosen (Penguin India, 2003). Her next novel, A Girl and a River (Penguin India) is to be released in May.

"by page 35 of this 260 page book, we have a good idea of Da Cunha’s inventiveness, her eye for description, her musical ear and her playful turn of phrase. Here, for instance is her description of the Flatte Chief --
‘He had thin and wispy bright yellow hair that fell to his knees, which colour seemed to leak all over him, right down to his yellow veined flat feet. Strangest of all, he had piercing yellow double-rimmed eyes, with which he looked her up and down. What with that and his doleful expression, he reminded her of a slice of lemon gone sour!’

Each place that Tara journeys through is attractively described. Flatte land is a beautiful sunshine filled land, full of the chimes of golden bells, where the inhabitants live on gold leaf trees, on which golden apples grow. Sharpes live on the stems of Moneytrees and their streets are paved with diamonds. Maya is ruled by Illusory Laws – everyone hears what they want to hear, so Melan Kohli always hears the blues and Tara, happy melodies.

Or take the names of her characters, which would charm children and adults alike – the musical clutch of Queen Rana Aria, Herr Moan Niem, the seer, Seetar and Geetar, the wise sisters, the rejuvenating tonic, Harmonica, Prince Ta-din-ak-din; we have the sad Chief Melan Kohli, Caliph Sojah, Khem Mystry, adept at black magic, Maneck Tarantella, the crazy old Flying Spider, Biswacks the candlemaker, and even Jatack-in-the-box.

Da Cunha uses her talents to make good (and original) use of all that the literary and cinematic palette has to offer, the staples that engross children – fantasy, both of the Lewis Carollian and the newer Rowlingian variety, the magic spells and mystery of Tolkein as well as Snow White, the dark forces that are for ever trying to take over the world and the array of supermen who have arisen from time to time to fight them; she also understands the unshakeable appeal of the clash between Good and Evil, of pitting brother against brother, of turning the most trusted one into the betrayer"