What is Suprose?

Welcome to Suprose.

Why Su-prose? "Su" in Sanskrit is a prefix for "good". This is a place where we will discuss and analyze prose (with a South Asian Connection) - that which is good, awesome, excellent, and maybe rant about prose that could be better.

Whether you love prose, are a prose expert, or want to learn more about prose, or to put it simply want to have anything to do with prose, this blog is for you.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Literary Love Affair

In a world where romanticism is slowly fading, Jane Austens and Emily
Bronte's are historical authors, Mills and Boon has been serving out
romantic tales to those that seek romantic escapism. These are not to
be read as examples of the best prose, but as stories to escape into
while the world around you bears a different truth.
In an article titled "Mills & Boon - a literary love affair" in UK
based publication The Independent says, "Love them or loathe them, a
Mills & Boon book is sold in the UK every three seconds. As over a
century of publishing is celebrated in a new exhibition about the
Author Charlotte Cripps looks back at this literary love affair and
writes, "What is secret of a good romantic read? "There is no secret.
I still worry about each book I submit; you never know whether it has
hit the spot until your editor has read it," she admits. "The Mills &
Boon books are short. The emotional intensity and sexual heat you have
to generate between two characters is challenging. There is always a
conflict in the romance which I try to resolve in my writing. The male
character generally has to travel the longest journey in the story.
First he usually has to realise that he does loves the woman. Secondly
he then may have to realise that in order to be with her he may have
to change. This point for me is very romantic because they both make
the decision to value the relationship more than their prejudices,
fears, or barriers put up to protect themselves from the pain of
experiencing the past."
Read the full article at --

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Indra Sinha, Tahmima Anam From South Asia Win Commonwealth Prize

"Indian-origin writer Indra Sinha's book Animal's People, based on the
Bhopal gas tragedy, has been adjudged this year's best book in Europe
and South Asia by the Commonwealth. Canada's Lawrence Hill won the top
Commonwealth Writers' Prize for her The Book of Negroes, a novel about
forgotten story of 18th Century Africans. Hill has been named the
winner of the best book award. Bangladesh's Tahmima Anam bagged the
award for best first book for A Golden Age, a fictionalised account of
her country's war for independence in 1971," reports the Hindustan
Times, "The Commonwealth Writers' Prize, an increasingly valued and
sought after award for fiction, is presented annually by the
Commonwealth Foundation. The Prize aims to reward the best
Commonwealth fiction written in English, by both established and new
writers, and to take their works to a global audience, thereby
increasing appreciation of and building understanding between
cultures. It is sponsored and organised by the Commonwealth Foundation
with the support of the Macquarie Group Foundation."

Other winners from South Asia in past were, in 1994 - Vikram Seth, for
A Suitable Boy and in 1996 - Rohinton Mistry, for A Fine Balance.
First Book winners from South Asia were in 2005 - Chimamanda Ngozi
Adichie, for Purple Hibiscus and in 1996 - Vikram Chandra, for Red
Earth, Pouring Rain.

"The Commonwealth Writers' Prize covers the Commonwealth regions of
Africa, Europe and South Asia, The Caribbean and Canada, and South
East Asia and the South Pacific. Entries are first assessed by four
regional panels of judges and the selection of the overall winner is
made by a distinguished pan-Commonwealth panel. In each of the four
regions of the Commonwealth two prizes of £1,000 are awarded: one for
the Best Book and one for the Best First Book. The resulting eight
regional winners' books are then judged by the pan-Commonwealth panel.
Authors win £10,000 for the overall Best Book and £5,000 for the Best
First Book. Writers and judges come together in a final literary
programme in a different Commonwealth country each year," says

According to Wikipedia, "Each year the final programme of the Prize
takes place in a different country. It also rotates around the
different Commonwealth regions. The final programme comprises the
judging for the overall Prize by the pan-Commonwealth panel and a
series of readings and other public events by the regional
prize-winning writers, who are all invited to attend."

Read the Hindustan Times article at--

The Commonwealth Foundation website is at--

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children A Favorite For The Best Of Booker Prize

According to a press release issued by the Man Booker Prize, "The Best
of the Booker, a one-off celebratory award to mark the 40th
anniversary of the Booker Prize, announces its shortlist today (12 May

The Times Of India reports that, "Salman Rushdie is the favourite to
win the Best of the Booker Prize after his novel Midnight's Children
was shortlisted on Monday for the "greatest of the greatest" award."

The six shortlisted books, chosen from the list of 41 Booker Prize and
Man Booker Prize winners, are:
Pat Barker's The Ghost Road (1995, Viking; paperback Penguin)
Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda (1988, Faber & Faber; paperback Faber)
JM Coetzee's Disgrace (1999, Secker & Warburg; paperback Vintage)
JG Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur (1973, Weidenfeld & Nicolson,
paperback Phoenix)
Nadine Gordimer's The Conservationist (1974, Cape; paperback Bloomsbury)
Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981, Cape; paperback Vintage)

"The shortlist was selected by a panel of judges - the biographer,
novelist and critic Victoria Glendinning, (Chair); writer and
broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, and John Mullan, Professor of English
at University College, London," says the Booker Prize Press Release.
According to them, "The only time that a celebratory award has
previously been created for 'the Booker' was in 1993 - the 25th
anniversary - when Salman Rushdie won the Booker of Bookers with
Midnight's Children. Now 15 years on, William Hill has offered Rushdie
6/4 odds as the favourite to win again. Second favourite is Pat
Barker at 3/1, followed by Peter Carey (4/1) and JM Coetzee at 5/1,
Nadine Gordimer (8/1) and JG Farrell (10/1)."

The public can vote for the best booker prize winner at --

The full press release can be viewed at--

The Times of India article is at--

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Authors launch literary festival in cities of the West Bank

From the Guardian --

"Roddy Doyle, Esther Freud, David Hare and Ahdaf Soueif will this week
launch the first international literary festival in the occupied
Palestinian territories. Seventeen Irish, British, American, Indian
and Arab authors will visit four West Bank cities for the inaugural
Palestinian Festival of Literature, subtitled: "The power of culture
and the culture of power." Soueif, one of the festival's organisers,
said they had invited "authors who we really liked, and who showed a
concern for the world in general".
Others taking part include the Scottish writer Andrew O'Hagan and
Pankaj Mishra, who is Indian, as well as the British-Sudanese writer
Jamal Mahjoub, and the American-Palestinian poet Suheir Hammad. They
will work with Palestinian writers at events in Ramallah, Jerusalem,
Jenin and Bethlehem."

Read the full article at --

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Coming Of Age In America

What happens when a self-doubting and insecure Parsi girl is struggling to get self-assured? In this novel, her parents send her to America, to stand on her own two feet and become more poised and confident. That is exactly what happens to Feroza Ginwalla in Bapsi Sidhwa’s “An American Brat.” This is an engaging coming of age story, with Sidhwa’s distinctive vivid and colorful characterization.
Life in America, for Feroza, begins with a horrifying experience at the airport soon after she lands. Her uncle Manek, who is a student at MIT helps her get settled and convinces her to go to school in America. He also teaches Feroza, her first valuable lesson, “The first lesson you learn in America is you don’t get something for nothing.” Feroza and Manek’s escapades in New York and Boston are comic yet touching.
Her life as a student in Twin Falls, Idaho, is no different from that of any foreign student who arrives in America, from a mollycoddled mode of life. She struggles to find her way and yet manages to settle into school. Along the way she also makes friends of all kinds and learns all about relationships, good and bad.
Manek meanwhile, goes back to Pakistan to get married to a nice Parsi girl. During this visit to Pakistan he reveals his secret to his family, “America is Paradise,” he says, and that’s what keeps him going. As long as one has figured out how to function within the system, then the going will be great in America he assures his family, putting aside their fears of immoral behavior and other apprehensions. After his wedding he comes back to Cambridge to finish his Ph.D.
Meanwhile Feroza and her best friend Jo, visit Jo’s family in Denver. Fascinated by life in a large city, they decide to transfer to the University of Denver, to study Hotel Management. This move is followed by Feroza’s first visit home, and this time her family is stunned to see a confident and glowing Feroza who knows her mind, refuses to get married and wants a career and more importantly wants the ability to stand on her own two feet.
Only her grandmother Khutlibai sees a little more than the others, “ Her gaze lingered on Feroza’s vibrant face, and her shrewd eyes were luminous with pride and love. She saw life and intelligence shining in her face, but there was too much life there, she thought with a trace of unease, too much intelligence -- more than might be good for her granddaughter.”
While on the plane, on her way back to America, she finds that her family has gifted her $700, and Feroza is thrilled to use this cash to buy her first (second-hand) car. As fate would have it, the person from whom she is destined to buy the car is also destined to be the first love of her life. A blond haired blue-eyed David Press, is a man who is equally taken by Feroza’s beautiful features and shyness. A relationship blooms, and blossoms.
Soon a letter arrives at the Ginwalla’s home from Feroza, introducing David and a possible wedding with him. A shocked family immediately dispatches Feroza’s mother Zareen to Denver to foil the romance. Zareen feels lonely and helpless in a new country that she has lost her daughter to. “ I should have listened. I should have never let you go so far away. Look what it’s done to you -- you’ve become and American Brat,” she tells her daughter passionately, her daughter who stands to be excommunicated from the Parsi community for marrying outside of their tight knit group.
What stands out most in this novel is the relationship of the protagonist to both her religion and her upbringing, which clearly make her the person she is. Much as Feroza is fiercely independent and knows her own mind, her rearing and spirituality help guide her and pull her reins when she is going to fast for her own comfort.
This is a hilarious, prolific and deeply enlightening tale of a girl who experiences her new country only as an immigrant can, and comes of age on her own terms. To those who don’t know about the Parsi community, this is a great primer. Sidhwa’s vibrant writing and her lively characters go hand in hand in making this one of her most poignant and entertaining works yet.