Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

RESIDUE : Nitasha Kaul

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Guest Author: Nitasha Kaul

NamedA_2015012117551300 for the revolutionary Trotsky by a missing communist father he never saw, Leon Ali is a Kashmiri born in Britain and brought up by a single mother in Delhi. Keya Raina is a Kashmiri scholar of exile, an insecure immigrant, who collects other people’s stories. Marked by the oppressive history of Kashmir, they meet in Berlin, the city of Cold War partitions, and begin a journey of discovery, which reveals to them 51BNfDmqKbL  the story of Shula Farid, the bohemian wife of a staid Bengali diplomat. Through their travels, these two young Kashmiris outside Kashmir find startling truths about themselves in the midst of unwitting identities and multiple belongings-the residue of shared human emotions. A riveting exploration of mobility and affinity across the borders of nation and faith, Residue provides fascinating glimpses of class-stratified urban India, divided Berlin, and complications of identity in England. It is a remarkable novel about divided lands and fortress continents, lines inked in blood and memory, and the absences they create in people’s lives and imaginations.

Few Most Reviews about Book :

“The world of exile has spawned literature of various hues. Residue, the debut novel of academic, poet and author Nitasha Kaul is an important contribution to the literary works on exile, providing a rare insight into the prejudices, inhibitions and the litany of woes associated with it…lies in the creation and resolution of crises, leading to the emergence of well fleshed out characters. This book is all about overcoming prejudices, discovering startling truths about self and going back to one’s roots. Residue leaves behind a residue of hope, ambition and aspiration and the resolve to triumph over one’s inner demons”. The Kashmir Wallah

“Shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Book Prize, the modern times and history of Kashmir and its emigrants catch the reader’s attention…Leon and Keya’s slow movement towards each other and the final trip to Srinagar evokes the memory of their background and history. The writer seems to be suggesting a political resolution”. The Deccan Herald

“Another gripping, powerful novel on Kashmir by a daughter of the soil has hit the stands. Profound and penetrating. Perhaps the best one in terms of range and depth, the first one by a young woman”. Greater Kashmir

“The book is the story of longing, of human expectations, of loss, of love, of relationships that transcend the common notions…I see the book as the author’s emotional connection with the land which has hauntingly remained in the memory and needed to be expressed in the form of human relationships, emotions, sufferings as has been expressed in this book. It is nothing but the memory of the good times that have been the inheritance of every Kashmiri living in these cursed lands much before the human greed caused the upheaval which disintegrated the human values for worse. As the blurb of the book declares “Residue is that which remains in us, and allows us to regrow, as we move across national borders and move on from events.” In nutshell the “residue” is about the idea of Kashmir and of being Kashmiri”. Rising Kashmir

“Kaul seems to have achieved a deep position of sympathy for all her characters. Her insight into their thoughts and personal journeys is both revelatory and poignant in parts, making the novel a great pleasure to read…Overall, Residue is a novel whose story and essence themselves shine through in several ways. These alone make it worth reading and deeply enjoying”. Kindle Magazine

“In a world riven with prejudice, hatred and sectarianism, Nitasha Kaul, through her first novel Residue, gives us a host of characters who do not wallow in such muck…On the whole, Residue left a very pleasant aftertaste in me and I recommend this book to all those who want to see this world become a better place, free of sectarian prejudices and all those who like to read a good story”. Winnowed

“Nitasha Kaul’s novel Residue reminds one of the epigraph with which Marquez’s novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, opens. The epigraph of that novel is a line by 14th century Portugese poet Gil Vicente – “The hunt for love is haughty falconry.” All the characters of Residue seem to inhabit a lonely planet of their own—hunting for that iota of love that touched them and passed them by in a moment…Kaul’s novel is a refreshing read, for it approaches politics through very personal struggles”. New Indian Express

“With this meeting of the two characters, the aim of the novel is brought in focus. In stark political language, it would be imagining Kashmir as a space where the histories of the Muslim and Pandit communities meet in a final embrace; the harmonious embrace which was rent asunder by unfortunate events. Leon and Keya are characters, who through their troubled lives are trying to arrive at a phenomenon which Salim Sinai in Midnight’s Children aptly called ‘a new way of being’. How this is done and how far the novel captures the politics of this effort is the reason why people should read Residue. It’s a novel of possibilities. Leon Ali and Keya Raina are not people who simply exist; they are people who should exist in our society…Residue will be remembered for the political questions it engages with and seeks to find an answer to”. Greater Kashmir

About Author:

Nitasha Kaul is a Kashmiri novelist, academic, poet, economist, artist who lives in London. She often finds herself speaking to, engaged with, writing and addressing, and part of, specific audiences who do not speak much to each other: economists, novelists, poets, feminists, economic social and political justice activists, theorists, musicians and filmmakers, Bhutan scholars, Kashmiris, street-artists, academic philosophers.

The Exodus Revealed: Israel’s Journey from Slavery to the Promised Land for “everyone else” – the open-minded thinkers

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Guest Author: Nicholas Perrin

Wheaton College Graduate School/ Dr Nick Perrin
When it comes to miraculous events of biblical history, like the Exodus, three kinds of people emerge. First, we have the skeptics (“We all know that bodies of water don’t spontaneously split. Next topic.”); next come the unimaginative biblicists (“The Bible said it. I believe it. That settles it. Next topic.”); and then we have everyone else, the open-minded souls who are willing to think about it. (Of course, as a blend of the first and third categories, countless biblical scholars claim we’ve “combed” the Sinai Peninsula, haven’t found any debris from a nomadic community the size of a small town that existed three-and-a-half millennia ago, and ergo the Exodus never happened at all. With such self-confident positivists as these, why aren’t we putting these folks on to our unsolved murder cases and missing airplanes?) I’ve written The Exodus Revealed: Israel’s Journey from Slavery to the Promised Land for “everyone else” – the open-minded thinkers.

Ridley Scott recently gave us a movie in which he imagined the Exodus story while taking some significant liberties with the data points. (If you haven’t seen the film, imagine a remake of Pride and Prejudice at many points faithful to the original only except now Elizabeth Bennet is a sexually-promiscuous opium addict.) But of course that has always been Hollywood’s prerogative – to move the data points for the sake of a good story. In this case, however, I think the better story would involve leaving the data points right where they are, and then do the imaginative work of connecting the dots.
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This is more or less what I try to do in this book. On the one hand, as a biblical scholar, I try to take the biblical narrative seriously as history. On the other hand, I try to do history behind the story but in an accessible way. This latter goal allows me to go places that starch-collared biblical scholars like me are not normally allowed to go. But I’ve had readers tell me that my thinking about the Exodus through the lens of modern-day experience has helped them to see things they’ve never seen before.

Often Bible readers, especially People of the Book, are not used to doing that, because many of us unconsciously think of the biblical narratives as fairy tales. When we read Snow White, we are not meant to ask “So what kind of poison was in the apple?” or “How did it come about that Snow decided to live with seven dwarves?” Young children don’t ask those questions; pre-adolescents might; adults don’t because they know that part of the deal with fairy tales is not asking hard questions. Sadly, many readers often treat the biblical narrative that way, but it’s a category mistake. In my book on the Exodus, I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but it’s about time we start asking some hard questions … and exploring some answers that might actually make sense.

About Author:
Nicholas Perrin (Ph.D., Marquette University) is Dean of the Wheaton Graduate School where he also holds the Franklin S. Dyrness Chair of Biblical Studies. Between 2000 and 2003, he was research assistant for N. T. Wright and has since authored and edited numerous articles and books, including Thomas and Tatian (Society of Biblical Literature/Brill); Thomas: The Other Gospel (Westminster John Knox); Lost in Transmission: What We Can Know about the Words of Jesus (Thomas Nelson); and Jesus the Temple (SPCK; Baker Academic), the first of a three-part trilogy on the historical Jesus. He is also co-editor of the recently revised edition of Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity).

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