Fiction as History: Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace

Myanmar—does that ring a bell? You guess that, maybe, it’s the same as Burma. And maybe you’ve even heard of its most famous citizen, Aung San Suu Kyi. Or, maybe, you have no idea whatsoever what Myanmar is. And you couldn’t care less. Myanmar is fascinating—rich in resources, diverse, exotic, unique, complex. Once a monarchy, invaded by the British, then terrorized by a military regime … Continue reading Fiction as History: Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace

God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

I seem to be focused on small things lately. Maybe in getting old, I have realized that big things are rare. I’ve learned one truly valuable lesson growing up (I want to believe we keep growing): You can fashion a good life out of small things. You do so by making big things of small ones. It’s not that hard—it’s what humans do to feel … Continue reading God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

SF Bay at sunset, from Oakland Hills

Queen of Dreams: Divakaruni, again

This book comes closer to home than the other two I’ve read by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Literally. It’s set in Berkeley. At some point in the story, Rakhi, the daughter of the Queen of Dreams, might have lived next to me on the Oakland Hills. If she had been real of course. Rakhi is real enough to me because she is a modern woman coping … Continue reading Queen of Dreams: Divakaruni, again

Two Novels With Indian Roots by C.B. Divakaruni

The Palace of Illusions A woman with five princely warrior husbands–how cool is that? I didn’t read this book; I listened to it. I borrowed it from the local library while recovering from a vitrectomy (an eye operation). The two-week tedious down time—I literally had to keep my gaze on my feet—became so much more bearable. The dramatic reader was a delight and I appreciated … Continue reading Two Novels With Indian Roots by C.B. Divakaruni