Friday, January 4, 2008

A Look Into the Heart of Indian Culture Through Short Stories: Literary Feline's List

It is often said that the best presents come in small packages. For those of us who are fans of bookstore gift cards, you know this to be true. When it comes to reading, I am partial to full length books, I admit. There is more room for an author to introduce the characters and plot, set the stage and move through the paces, time enough for me to settle in for a long ride. Short stories are over so quickly and frequently leave me feeling unsatisfied. However, short stories are good in a pinch, when time is short or as an in between filler when I need a rest between novels. Still, when a short story is done right, it can hold just as much magic and sway as a full length novel.

Despite my leanings toward the longer books, I do collect and read short story collections now and again, although not nearly as often as I might like because, well, my preference for the longer book tends to kick in.

When I heard that Kate was hosting The Short Story Reading Challenge (with quite an irresistible button), offering participants several different avenues of short story reading, I decided to take her up on this challenge and push myself to read more short stories this year and further open the literary door a little wider.

For this particular challenge, I am going to go with Option 5 in which I tailor the challenge to meet my own reading needs. My choices include three anthologies that touch upon the Indian culture and people, both in India and in the United States.

Love and Longing in Bombay by Vikram Chandra
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Breathless in Bombay by Murzban F. Shroff

I look forward to reading participants thoughts and reviews about the short stories they read, and perhaps adding to own own growing collection.


Eva said...

I've read the Lahiri, and I loved it! Looking forward to your reviews-I love reading Indian authors!

Literary Feline said...

Hi, Eva! I read The Namesake this past year and enjoyed it. I've heard the author's short story collection is even better.

I actually chose this theme at random when I realized how many books I have by Indian authors. I have several full length novels too that I would love to fit in this year, but I don't know if I can manage that. Like you, I love reading Indian authors. I'm really drawn to the literature and culture.