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.

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