India has always intrigued me. While growing up I was made to sit through endless slideshows of awinspiring images that my Danish Grandfather projected on the basement wall of family life there. The traditional dress, the elephants and many stories; the sherpa who carried a family baby grand piano on his back for 1.6 kilometres along a dusty path in northern India; the blistering heat, no medicine and pain of my uncles birth that still makes my Grandmother shudder; chasing the worlds most beautiful butterflies, the suffocation of Dehli...
So there are four Indian books I'm going to read before the year ends:
- Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup. Based on a true story it's premised on a murder and how "all deaths are not equal". The six murder suspects are woven together as 6 short stories. This book paints a picture of India as one of diverse cultures and stark contrasts; soft and violent, opulent and destitute, stong and weak.
- Midnights Children by Salmaan Rushdie. Winner of the Man Booker Prize for best Man Booker in 25 years. Rushdie reaches back to his childhood and introduces us to him, embellished, imaginative and politically threatening for its time.
- White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize. A brutal Indian story of class divisions and the struggle of a somewhat endearing criminal's struggle to survive against oppression.
- Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts .In 1980, Roberts escaped from Victoria's maximum-security prison, becoming one of Australia's most wanted men for the next ten years. For most of this period he lived in Bombay; he set up a free health clinic and worked for the Bombay mafia as a forger and smuggler. A heavy going book I've been told.