Published in the 14th issue of Zau magazine in February 2016
I’ve been a fan of historical fiction since long before I knew what the term meant. When I was ten years old I read Patricia Reilly Giff’s middle-grade novel Nory Ryan’s Song, which is set in Ireland during the Great Potato Famine of 1845. At that time, I was, of course, completely unaware of Irish history and of the mass level of destruction that this watershed event caused for Ireland – what I cared about was the story of Nory, a young girl trying to help her family survive the famine and the cruelties of their English landlord while having adventures in her coastal hometown of western Ireland. The historical setting of the novel was superfluous to ten-year-old me, apart from creating the very specific circumstances that Nory’s story grows out of – how she and her friend Sean try to prevent their neighbor from being evicted when she can’t pay rent, how she sings to her little brother to distract him from his hunger, her dream of one day reuniting with her older sister in Brooklyn.
Continue reading “Musings of a Reader: On Amitav Ghosh and the Importance of Historical Fiction”
Last month it was announced that the beloved children’s author Enid Blyton’s series The Faraway Tree was getting its own film adaptation. The news came after a Famous Five film adaptation was announced in the summer, perhaps signally a revitalisation of Blyton’s vast and much-loved canon of children’s fiction.
Continue reading “The Evolution of Children’s Literature”
Quick, off the top of your head, name five books that have gotten critical acclaim recently. Chances are the books you’ve named are mostly those written by a male author. ‘But that’s just because I read genres that are more male-dominated,’ you might argue.
Or, ‘Well, men write better books than women.’ Such arguments are overly simplistic (not to mention misogynistic, in the case of the latter) and ignore the deep-rooted sexism that is prevalent in the world of literature today.
Continue reading “Sexism in Literature”
They say a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place or even a person. Being an avid music fan myself, I can completely testify to that statement. But for me, it’s not just music. Books also hold sharp and distinguished memories for me. I remember not only the circumstances surrounding me obtaining and then reading a certain book, but, if it’s one of those excellent books you can’t stop thinking about afterwards, I also remember the whirlwind of emotions I experienced while reading them.
Continue reading “On Books – And What They Mean To Me”
Honestly, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is not the kind of book I usually read. I tend to shy away from books with extremely dark subject-matters, like war and death. This was why, when I first came upon the book in the bookstore, I took one glance at the cover and quickly dismissed it as not being my cup of tea. Later, however, at coming across the book again, I decided to flip through and read the first few pages. And immediately, I was engrossed.
Continue reading “Book Review: The Book Thief”