By

Swati Nair
It’s around the first week of April that I begin to see the light. When I wake up at 6.00 am and draw the curtains to see the soft light of dawn beginning to spread across purple skies. Skies that remained dark most of the time until then given the short winter hours. It is...
Ever since I can remember I have enjoyed reading translated books. I loved these words that showed me life on foreign shores. They were like whispers from another world telling me to open my eyes wider and see the world. I cannot pinpoint when and how exactly I started reading these translations. Perhaps it was...
What do you do when you are ambitious but don’t have the skills? You steal, of course. You do anything to achieve your goal, and everything including people become the means to an end. That’s what Maurice Swift does in John Boyne’s latest “A Ladder to the Sky.” We first meet the devastatingly handsome Maurice...
Studio Ghibli’s movie “Grave of the Fireflies” about a brother and sister who try to survive during WWII in Japan is one of my favourite movies. But the fact that it was based on a short story by acclaimed Japanese novelist Akiyuki Nosaka got lost somewhere in the massive shadow of the Ghibli brand. I...
I was absolutely mesmerized by Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, and it was with great expectation that I picked up Circe, a book that has been wowing most readers since its release. The story follows the rise of Circe, daughter of Helios, the sun god, from a mere nymph to being a powerful sorceress....
The first book I read from Kent Haruf was his last. “Our Souls at Night” swept me away with its quietude and I expected nothing less from the next book I was recommended, which was “The Tie That Binds.” This novel is similar in its quietude but there is a certain bleak beauty to it....
I am not fond of the cold. At all. I live in Dublin, Ireland and it’s a place where your constant companion, even in summer, is a light jacket and not a book. Because you never know when the sun is going to hide behind the clouds and when the breeze is going to start...
Pushkin Press is one of my favourite publishers, as regular readers of my reviews know. Thanks to them I have read such gems like The Letter for the King by Tongke Dragt, and The Beggar and Other Stories by Gaito Gazdanov. So, I was delighted when they kindly sent me the children’s classic Maddy Alone...
Malayalam cinema has been charming me all over again in recent times. After the brilliant and powerful movies of the 90s, there was a lull in the 2000s until talent like Dulquer, Fahadh, Parvathy, Aparna Gopinath et al arrived on the scene. More recently, there have been some intense and noteworthy performances from slightly more...
Gushing praise from SM is rare. But Kent Haruf is one novelist she cannot stop talking about. Mary Oliver is one of her favourites too. So, after going through my long queued up NetGalley books, I finally got down to reading Haruf’s “Our Souls at Night” and Oliver’s collection of selected essays “Upstream”. “Our Souls...
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