Monday, October 30, 2006

International Book Club

In an attempt to always have things to talk about, my mother and I have decided to start an online book club together. We've chosen our first book and thought it would be great if more than just the two of us were involved. So here is your invitation! Join the B&EIA Book Club. (With an acronym like that, we should get t-shirts.)

Our first book is called Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God by Jonah Blank. Here are some blurbs from bn.com:

Publishers Weekly
Blank, who has reported on Asia for the Dallas Morning News, traveled the length and breadth of India, retracing the footsteps of the god Rama, hero of the ancient Sanskrit epic (portions of which introduce each chapter). Coupling journalistic detachment with piercing lyricism, he samples the subcontinent in all its horrific, multitudinous, overwhelming diversity, from Bombay's Hollywood-style dream factories to Calcutta's leper-filled streets. He ponders the nation's lingering caste divisions, with their "BMW Brahmins'' and destitute untouchables. He meets Sikh separatists in the Punjab and, in Sri Lanka, tracks down Tamil Tiger guerrillas, young boys carrying AK-47s. He converses with holy men in ashrams and probes the erotic intensity of the Krishna cult. He scuffles with Indian's venal, infuriating bureaucracy. Blank writes beautifully and taps into India's elusive, indestructible soul with a clarity few writers attain, as he ponders the paradoxes of a country where deep-rooted fatalism clashes with Westernization and a new social mobility. (Sept.)

From the book jacket:
The two-thousand-year-old Sanskrit epic Ramayana - one of the greatest literary works of the ancient world - chronicles Lord Rama's journey from one end of the Indian subcontinent to the other and his spiritual voyage from man to deity. In Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God, anthropologist and journalist Jonah Blank retells the ancient story in a lively prose while following the course of the epic her's quest through contemporary India and Sri Lanka.
In his adventures, Blank encounters a chimerical subcontinent caught between the ancient and the modern, from swamis who wrestle both physically and metaphysically, to prepubescent Tamil guerrillas barely able to lift their AK-47s, to television actors who are worshiped as living manifestations of Hindu divinities. Sparkling with humor and cultural insight, Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God is an up-close look at the multifaceted jewel that is India, in all its poignant, picaresque and paradoxical beauty.

We don't have a strict format for our group yet, as far as how much to read and by when. If you want to be involved, just post a comment and we can decide by when we should have the first chapter or four read.

1 comment:

WMB said...

I'm up to chapter three