The plus side of finally…

The plus side of finally updating your site is that occasionally you stumble across a nice review of your book by Niranjana Iyer from two years ago that you somehow missed the first time around:

The book is structured as a collection of interlinked stories, all unified by the theme of movement. The characters travel from Sri Lanka to England and to America, and sometimes back to Sri Lanka, and regardless of the direction of their journeys, find adjustment to a new land to be fraught with unforeseen complications. But movement is also implicit in every other facet of their lives. These men and women are pushed and pulled by ambition, by loyalty, and by sexual desire; they lead agitated lives, moving in and out of jobs, relationships, and even states of being. Mohanraj provides finely-calibrated accounts of the clash between convention and passion; that many of her pieces are rich in the details of Sri Lankan cuisine is a decided bonus.

Keeping track of the relationships amongst the numerous characters was sometimes difficult; I was forced to flip to the family trees (provided in the preface) several times over. Each story, however, stands distinct, and Mohanraj gives us glimpses of the same event through convincingly different perspectives -- a literary sleight-of-hand I've always enjoyed. The prose is also noteworthy. Liquid and lush, Mohanraj's writing is the kind which makes you realize, when you close the covers of the book, that the reading lamp should have been switched on an hour ago....

Sadly, Iyer goes on to spend a paragraph lamenting that the Roshan/Shefali marriage is only mentioned in a few short lines in "Challah" and she really wishes I'd gone into the relationship in more depth. see, I wrote a whole novel about that relationship, but then they decided not to publish it... Sigh.

1 thought on “The plus side of finally…”

  1. Yay! Good review. And although I had been vaguely aware of the motion-theme stuff Iyer mentions (and it’s explicit in the title), I hadn’t quite thought through the details of that “movement is also implicit in every other facet”–good point, and I agree that that theme works well on a variety of levels.

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