Friday, December 19, 2014

The Sunday Haul

Most of the books I have found in the past few months have been short story collections by some big names. I have found ‘Dying Alone and Other Stories’ by Krishna Baldev Vaid sometime in September, then ‘My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead’ edited by Jeffrey Euginides, ‘The Awakening and Other Stories’ by Kate Chopin in October, ‘The Progress of Love’ by Alice Munro, and ‘Secret Lives’ by Ngugi Wa Thiong’O, ‘Looking for Jake and Other Stories’ by China Mieville last month and ‘Collected Stories- Vol I’ by Shashi Deshpande earlier this month. It looks like a year of short story collections for me because I found two more short story titles last Sunday at Abids.
Flannery O Connor is one writer whose short story collections I had my eyes peeled open for since a long time. Then last Sunday among books scattered on the pavement I chanced upon ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ by Flannery O Connor that I got for just twenty rupees. The seller was one who has three branches in the city and I was surprised he did not know the value of this title. Anyway, I was glad to have found a Flannery O Connor title at last. It has nine stories:

Everything That Rises Must Converge
A View of the Woods
The Enduring Chill
The Comforts of Home
The Lame Shall Enter First
Parker’s Back
Judgement Day.

Next on my ‘to find’ list is a Lydia Davis title.

Afterwards, on the way home I stopped as usual at Chikkadpally. I found ‘Best American Short Stories-2007’ (ed-Stephen King) that I got for hundred rupees. It is worth every one of the hundred rupees I have paid for it because it has twenty stories, some of them by writers I know and many by those I do not know. These are the stories in it:

‘Pa’s Darling’ by Louis Auchincloss
‘Toga Party’ by John Barth
‘Solid Wood’ by Ann Beattie
‘Balto’ by TC Boyle
‘Riding the Doghouse’ by Randy Devita
‘My Brother Eli’ by Joseph Epstein
‘Where Will You Go When Your Skin Cannot Contain You?’ by William Gay
'Eleanor’s Music’ by Mary Gordon
‘L.DeBard and Aliette: A Love Story’ by Laurn Groff
‘Wake’ by Beverly Jensen
‘Wait’ by Roy Kesey
‘Findings & Impressions’ by Stellar Kim
‘Allegiance’ by Aryn Kyle
‘The Boy in Zaquitos’ by Bruce McAllister
‘Dimension’ by Alice Munro
‘The Bris’ by Eileen Pllack
‘St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves’ by Karen Russell
‘Horseman’ by Richard Russo
‘Sans Farine’ by Jim Shepard
‘Do Something’ by Kate Walbert
I also found Ian Fleming’s ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ that I picked on a whim. It was for just thirty rupees so I bought it right away after I looked at the cover that was too interesting to ignore.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Sunday Haul

It was a two book haul for me last Sunday at Abids. I already have two copies of Arun Joshi’s ‘The Strange Case of Billy Biswas’ at home. But I couldn’t resist buying another nice copy that I saw with the seller near the GPO at Abids. I got it for fifty rupees and except for a tear on the cover on the left corner at the top the book was in good condition. That was the only book I found at Abids last Sunday but at a seller at RTC X Roads I found another book.
I had been eyeing Shashi Deshpande’s ‘Collected Short Stories, Volume-I’ at this particular seller since the past two weeks. I hesitated to buy it because I thought the seller would ask for nothing less than a hundred bucks for this book. I did not want to buy it at that price though I did not ask him and he did not tell me the price. Last Sunday, I was surprised when he told me he would give the book to me for fifty rupees. I picked it up without a second thought thereby adding one more title to my ever growing collection of short stories.

This volume has twenty four stories: The Legacy, The First Lady, Anatomy of a Murder, Can You Hear Silence?, A Liberated Silence, Why a Robin?, An Antidote to Boredom, It Was the Nightingale, The Stone Women, Mirrors, The Inner Rooms, A Wall is Safer, The Duel, The Awakening, Independence Day, The Day Bapu Died, The Shadow, The Homecoming, The Boy, Waste Lands, My Beloved Charioteer, The Valley in Shadow, The Intrusion, and The Eternal Theme

Quite surprisingly, there is no news about the Hyderabad Book Fair in the papers. One seller I met at Abids told me that it was beginning from the 17th of December in the NTR Stadium grounds. But I wanted some official confirmation. Yesterday while going in a cab near Lakdi ka pul I saw a poster stuck on the rear of an autorickshaw. I had just enough time to read that it was beginning from next Wednesday. Whatever, I am eagerly waiting for the book fair to begin and counting the days.

Friday, December 05, 2014

The Sunday Haul

It is not usual to find author signed copies of books at Abids. But I am also not particular about them and don’t really go looking for such books. It might be why I did not notice that I had bought an author signed title until I got home and checked out the book leisurely. I had found China Mieville’s ‘Looking for Jake and Other Stories’ in a heap of books selling for twenty rupees and decided to buy it. Only a couple of weeks earlier I had found his ‘Perdido Street Station’ that I had read somewhere was very good. Anyway, while leafing through the book at home I saw a signature scrawled on one of the title pages and it appeared like to that of China Mieville. I don’t know if such a copy is valuable but I was glad I found it.

‘Looking for Jake and Other Stories’ has the following fourteen stories: Looking for Jake, Foundation, Reports of Certain Events in London, Familiar, Entry Taken from a Medical Encyclopedia, Details, Go Between, Different Skies, An End to Hunger, ‘Tis the Season, Jack, and The Ball Room (co-written with Emma Birchman & Max Schaefer) and On the Way to the Front (illustrated by Liam Sharp). I am glad I got it cheap.

The second title I found on Sunday at Abids was by a writer I had recently come across. Sometime this year I had found ‘Devil on the Cross’ by Ngugi Wa Thiongo’o which I had read somewhere was a great book and that the author was on the shortlist for the Nobel. On Sunday I found a collection of his short stories titled ‘Secret Lives’ which had three parts and contained thirteen stories.

Part-I ( Of Mothers and Children)
Mugumo, And the Rain Came Down! Gone With the Drought

Part-II ( Fighters and Martyrs)
The Village Priest, The Black Bird, The Martyr, The Return, A Meeting in the Dark, Goodbye Africa

Part-III ( Secret Lives)
Minutes of Glory, Wedding at the Cross, A Mercedes Funeral, the Mubenzi Tribesman

But the dumbest thing I did on Sunday was not picking up the collection of poems by Jayanta Mahapatra that was on one of the shelves of a seller who refused to give it at the price I asked. It was really dumb not picking it up eagerly since he had asked for a reasonable price. I hope next Sunday it is there.