February 5, 2009

Two books

I am eagerly looking forward to two debut novels by people I know -- one who I know fairly well and the other whose blog I have merely followed off-and-on and happened to meet socially during my recent trip to India.

First up, coming this April is Amit Varma's debut book, My Friend, Sancho (Hachette). The book had made the Man Asian Booker longlist ain 2008 and based on the excerpt here, the novel, which is supposed to be a love-story, looks eminently readable. Although Sancho herself does not make her appearance in the excerpt, the suspense created in this short excerpt leaves you eager to find out more about the characters of the book! That's rule # 1 of what a well-written book is supposed to do -- make the reader want to keep turning the pages. In addition to Sancho, more fun is promised in the novel in the form of a talking lizard and a policeman who talks in bullet points. I can't wait for the book to be published!

And in May, Chandrahas Choudhury's debut novel, Arzee the Dwarf (Harper Collins) hits book-stores. Read an excerpt here and be wow-ed. Like I wrote in a comment at that post, if the rest of the book is as good and well-written as the excerpt of Arzee at the wall, I'm going to love it! Chandrahas has made that non-descripit alley come alive... "squelchy slop", "his footprints following him all the way in", "spat into the water, as if expelling the thought" ...and much more to delight. And then there is the whole surreal-ish narrative of Arzee getting on the wall and looking at his reflection in the muck and his  accompanied nostalgic thoughts. Pure poetry!

Here's wishing success to Amit & Chandrahas. Go break a leg, guys!

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