Friday, September 04, 2015

The Sunday Haul (on 30-08-2015)

Once again, as had happened last August, there’s been a flood of books in my life though there wasn’t any actual rain during the month. Added to the haul of sixteen books that I had picked up during the month were five more books that I found on Sunday. Some really outstanding titles are part of this five book haul which made me glad.
The first title I found was another collection of short stories. I found ‘Things Have a Way of Working Out’ by Mulk Raj Anand that had a bright and attractive cover. It has twelve stories each dedicated to a different person. This is the list and the names of the dedicatees in brackets: The Price of Bananas (dedicated to KK Hebbar) A Village Wedding (Ramji Kak) Things Have a Way of Working Out (Rajinder Singh Bedi) The Gold Watch (Hugh Atkinson) Five Short Fable (Ruth & Cyrus Jhabvala) A True Story (Balwant Gargi) The Wounded Dove (Pierre Cot) Death of a Lady (Shirin Vajifdar) The Story of an Anna (Razia Sajjad Zaheer) Old Bapu (Kushwant Singh) The Power of Darkness (S.L) and The Shadow of Death. I got this collection for forty rupees only.
The second title I found was yet another collection of poetry. I found ‘Only the Soul Knows How to Sing’ by Kamala Das that had more than 150 poems. I read some of them at random and as usual whenever I read good poetry I was overwhelmed. Inside the book was a letter by the publisher to an editor of a daily in Hyderabad requesting him to give a ‘favorable review’ to the book. The letter, neatly folded was in the back and was written in December, 1996. It would be interesting to know if the paper carried a review of the book.
After Peter Carey, one interesting Australian writer whose book I read was Helen Garner (Monkey Grip) and these two are the only Australian writers I have read so far. For some reason I seem to be discovering new crime fiction writers I haven’t read about and this Sunday too I came across another crime fiction writer. This new crime fiction writer that I came across turned out to be Australian and described by Sydney Morning Herald as ‘Cleary is a National Literary Institution. Wh ich was enough for me to pick up ‘Bear Pit’ that I saw in a heap of books selling for only twenty rupees.
Though I am not a movie buff and do not watch many movies I somehow like reading autobiographies of movie personalities especially if they happen to be writers themselves. Dirk Bogarde comes to mind and then there is Kirk Douglas. Just beside the heap of books where I found Jon Cleary’s ‘Bear Pit’ I found ‘Roman’ by Polanski which was a paperback. I think there are few movie buff who do not know who Roman Polanski is so I need not write about him here. This book was in a really good condition and I was glad I found it for only thirty rupees.
The last find was a truly interesting one. I spotted a book with a nice cover and when I picked it up it turned out to be ‘Paraja’ by Gopinath Mohanty published by Oxford University Press. I honestly confess that I haven’t heard of Gopinath Mohanty until I saw that book. It turns out this Odiya writer has won the Sahitya Akademi award, the Jnanpith, and also the ‘Padmabhushan’ which makes him out to be a great writer. I thanked my good fortune that I found ‘Paraja’ which was translated into English by Bikram K. Das. I did not mind spending a hundred rupees in buying the book. I hope I will be able to read ‘Paraja’ one of these days.

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