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.

Read, interact, enjoy and share...

Search This Blog

Monday, November 22, 2010

TIME 10 Questions: 10 Questions for Salman Rushdie

The author talks with TIME about his new book, Luka and the Fire of Life, and describes his life on the run from the infamous fatwa calling for his death.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Book Review - One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni

Like a string of pearls, in which each one is unique and exquisite when inspected up close, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s new novel “One Amazing Thing” could even be a collection of touching short stories with a common thread, each one filled with detail and elegant prose.

This novel regales the reader with tales of nine people who are trapped inside the visa office of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, CA in the aftermath of an earthquake. How do people respond in times of panic, how do they deal with their uncertain future? One Amazing Thing reenacts the response of this small group in the time of crisis.
When a powerful earthquake jolts the city, imprisoning the nine people inside the Indian Consulate, there is immediate shock and distress. However, when they find out that they are trapped inside this suite, the initial focus of this group is on food and water. As the already miniscule supplies slowly start to dwindle, the group looks for other avenues to ease their minds and souls.
These nine people, all from different nationalities, cultures, walks of life, having been thrown together in an intimate and threatening environment, seek to allay their fears by talking about themselves. They each tell a story from their own life, the tale of “One Amazing Thing” that has shaped their characters and made them who they now are. Divakaruni’s character sketches are full of detail and precision.
A wealthy couple whose relationship is on the rocks, a young Muslim-American man struggling with the consequences of 9/11, a graduate student tormented by a question about love, an African-American Vietnam Vet searching for deliverance, an elderly Chinese woman with a secret past, her teenage granddaughter, two Visa office workers from India who are on the verge of an adulterous office affair, and the graduate student who suggests that each of the nine people narrate an miraculous story from their life, these are the main characters in this novel.
Each of their voices tells a unique and fascinating narrative, a story that drowns uncertainties, apprehensions, eases trepidation and softens anxieties.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a gifted storyteller, whose novels are all very powerful and carry a strong voice. In this, her newest novel, “One Amazing Thing” she weaves nine stories into one, and with the help of her nine influential and powerful characters, she conveys the truth that a heartwarming story can be therapeutic, and has the potential to pacify.
Reviewed by Visi  Tilak, a writer who lives in Ashland, MA

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

NYTimes.com: Worlds in Collision by Manu Joseph

BOOKS   | September 05, 2010
Worlds in Collision
A Brahmin astrophysicist and his Dalit assistant are the interdependent poles of Manu Joseph's novel. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

David Davidar: On Indian Authors

Allan Gregg talks to publisher and author David Davidar about his roll in promoting the popularity of Indian authors around the world.

Monday, August 16, 2010

NYTimes.com: Upstairs, Downstairs, Jersey Style

BOOKS   | August 15, 2010
Children's Books:  Upstairs, Downstairs, Jersey Style
In this novel, the children of the privileged are observed by the sharp-eyed daughters of their nannies and housekeepers. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

NYTimes.com: Posing as Fitness

Posing as Fitness
Two books on how yoga was packaged and promoted in different ways in America, depending on the audience and the era. 

NYTimes.com: Somerset Maugham's Swami

Letter From India:  Somerset Maugham's Swami
Long before Elizabeth Gilbert, Somerset Maugham turned the ashram experience into a monster best seller, "The Razor's Edge."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NYTimes.com: Believer's Bazaar

Believer's Bazaar
A scholar of Indian history explores the diverse religious world of the subcontinent through the lives of nine remarkable individuals. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Joel Stein's Essay - My Own Private India

My Own Private India

"I am very much in favor of immigration everywhere in the U.S. except Edison, N.J. The mostly white suburban town I left when I graduated from high school in 1989 — the town that was called Menlo Park when Thomas Alva Edison set up shop there and was later renamed in his honor — has become home to one of the biggest Indian communities in the U.S., as familiar to people in India as how to instruct stupid Americans to reboot their Internet routers.
My town is totally unfamiliar to me. The Pizza Hut where my busboy friends stole pies for our drunken parties is now an Indian sweets shop with a completely inappropriate roof. The A&P I shoplifted from is now an Indian grocery. The multiplex where we snuck into R-rated movies now shows only Bollywood films and serves samosas. The Italian restaurant that my friends stole cash from as waiters is now Moghul, one of the most famous Indian restaurants in the country. There is an entire generation of white children in Edison who have nowhere to learn crime."

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1999416,00.html#ixzz1N8PX7IHw

Monday, June 14, 2010

NYTimes.com: Kitchen Comfort

Kitchen Comfort
In this novel of Kashmir, a young man adapts to remote army life by becoming a chef. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Words around town - Lifestyle Features - Boston Phoenix

Words around town - Lifestyle Features - Boston Phoenix

Our fair city is chock full of people who write well and are willing to teach you their trade.

“Every writer I know has trouble writing,” said Joseph Heller. Let that serve as comfort. The act of piling words one on top the next so they make sense, so that they best get across what they’re meant to express, proves a challenge even for the people for whom writing is their main endeavor.
Who hasn’t felt that specific blank-screen dread, the cruel tease of the cursor blink? Who hasn’t held pen poised to pad and not spilled any ink  or worse, spilled ink with all the wrong words, scribbling out sentences to leave black pits in the paper? Who hasn’t clenched their fists and clutched their skulls and wondered why won’t the words just come? And it’s not just novelists angsting over chapter 22. It’s not just poets struggling to find the right eight words to distill existence in 14 lines. An e-mail, an essay, a memo. A blog post, a tweet, a text. Getting the words right can be hard.
We tend to think great writers are born that way. That Herman Melville popped out of Mama Melville with lines like “But what puzzled and confounded you was a long, limber, portentous, black mass of something hovering in the centre of the picture over three blue, dim, perpendicular lines floating in a nameless yeast. A boggy, soggy, squitchy picture truly, enough to drive a nervous man distracted” already instilled within him somewhere, just waiting for the right time to emerge. Or Hemingway, seated in his first-grade class, musing on lean prose and the possibility of a Nick Adams. Alternately, great writing can seem a sort of magic  a lightening blast of inspiration, a flash of genius. Neither is all the way true.
The question then: is it possible to learn how to make it easier? Is it possible to learn how to do it better? The question is: can writing be taught?
The answer, it seems, is yes, but it’s got less to do with writing and more to do with work. Below, some discussion from some area teachers of writing  both of the creative bent and the more practical  about how it’s possible to become a better writer, whether your goal is Next Great American Novelist or simply to craft better e-mails to your bosses.
Read more: http://thephoenix.com/boston/life/101411-words-around-town/#ixzz1N8QfjDdz

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boston Globe Reviews "Secret Daughter" by Gowda

Lives unfold after an adoption in ‘Secret Daughter’

By Rebecca Steinitz
April 19, 2010
As Indian literature in English has flourished in recent years, a subgenre of Indian-American literature has emerged alongside it. Written largely by authors of Indian descent who live in the United States, books like Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Namesake,’’ Kiran Desai’s “The Inheritance of Loss,’’ and Tania James’s “Atlas of Unknowns’’ spotlight Indian immigrants or move back and forth between India and the United States. The latest contribution to this sub-genre, Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s first novel, “Secret Daughter,’’ offers a new bridge between the two countries: adoption. The story of Asha, her Indian birth mother, and her American adoptive mother, “Secret Daughter’’ adds a fraught take on motherhood to familiar themes of alienation and cultural identity.

SECRET DAUGHTERBy Shilpi Somaya Gowda
William Morrow, 352 pp., $23.99
When Kavita gives birth to her first daughter in a small town in India, her husband immediately takes the baby away to be killed. Kavita refuses to let her second pregnancy come to the same end. When the baby is another girl, she sneaks away to Bombay and leaves the infant Usha at an orphanage. Across a continent and ocean, San Francisco doctor Somer Whitman discovers she is in early menopause and decides to adopt from India where her husband grew up. The baby they bring home to California is Usha who, in a paperwork error, has been renamed Asha.
“Secret Daughter’’ moves back and forth between the unfolding lives of Kavita, Somer, and Asha. Kavita finally satisfies her husband by giving birth to a son, Vijay, though she continues to yearn for her lost daughter. To make a better life for Vijay, the family moves to Bombay where their terrifying slum experiences and slow climb into a reasonable life and living are one of the book’s most interesting elements. Kavita is a sympathetic character, convincing in both her acceptance of her fate and her unceasing desire for her daughter — she returns repeatedly to the orphanage where she left the baby, searching for a recognizable child, unaware that she is growing up on the other side of the world.
Somer is more of a stock character — the professional woman undone by infertility and motherhood — but adoption adds a twist. Thoroughly alienated by India, she refuses to return after the adoption and largely banishes Indian culture from her family’s life, inadvertently broadening the distance she feels from both the child she desperately loves and, increasingly, her husband (it is somewhat hard to believe that a character as intelligent as Somer can’t see the consequences of her actions, but perhaps that is Gowda’s point).
Asha’s own sense of alienation is palpable from childhood, though she doesn’t fully realize what she’s missing until she connects with her Indian heritage in college. When she receives a journalism fellowship to Bombay, where she researches the lives of slum children and lives with her grandmother, the novel’s characters and thematic strands inevitably — and slightly predictably — come together.
“Secret Daughter’’ is an engaging read, with its quick shifts between characters and rapid movement through 20 years of familial narrative. Some plot developments can be spotted a mile away — when Kavita’s son starts bringing home lots of money, it is clear that he is up to no good — but Gowda resolutely refuses to tie up all her loose ends, keeping the novel from settling into banality.
If motherhood is the primary interest of “Secret Daughter,’’ its success is finally embodied in Sarla, Asha’s grandmother, who foregrounds the power of nurturance above and beyond either blood or legal ties. For Kavita and Somer, letting their daughter go becomes the ultimate act of nurturance, allowing Asha, in the end, to claim her own identity.
Rebecca Steinitz is a writer, editor, and writing coach who lives in Arlington. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hanif Kureishi's Memoir Reviewed by the New York Times

A Writer Recalls His Mentor, Critic and Father, All in One Complex Man
Published: March 23, 2010
Hanif Kureishi’s affecting new memoir, “My Ear at His Heart,” is ruminative and minor-key.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Authors@Google: Chitra Divakaruni

What sustains us in a time of panic? How do we survive disasters beyond our control? Bestselling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni considers these timely questions in her compelling new novel, ONE AMAZING THING. Drawing on Divakaruni's personal experience of Hurricane Rita and inspired by literary works ranging from The Decameron to Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, ONE AMAZING THING explores what happens when people from different walks of life are trapped together are trapped by a violent earthquake. 

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's honors include an American Book Award, a PEN/Josephine Miles Award, two PEN Syndicated Fiction awards, and a Distinguished Author Award from the South Asian Literary Association. Her work has appeared in TheBest American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, and a Pushcart Prize anthology. With the publication of her new novel, One Amazing Thing, Divakaruni is the author of sixteen books, two of which have been made into movies. A frequently sought-after op-ed commentator regarding South Asian-American culture, Divakaruni is the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jaipur Book Festival 2010

Vikas Bajaj reports on the Jaipur Book Festival in the New York Times --
"A crowd, some members sitting on the floor, listened attentively last week as the author Amit Chaudhuri described the influence of writers from Ireland and the American South on his work.

Outside the tent where he was speaking, fans and photographers mobbed the Indian poet Gulzar, who shared the Oscar for the song “Jai Ho” in “Slumdog Millionaire,” blocking his exit from a hall. Elsewhere the Pakistani wunderkind Ali Sethi was fending off people who wanted to have pictures taken with him.

That was just the first day of the Jaipur Literature Festival, a five-day extravaganza that in only five years has become the official annual celebration of a vibrant and resurgent Indian and South Asian literary scene. By the time the festival ends on Monday, organizers estimate that some 30,000 people will have seen more than 200 authors and other speakers.

Indians might be known worldwide for being mad about cricket and Bollywood musicals, but they are also increasingly embracing literature in all its forms. Book sales have been rising as incomes and literacy have steadily climbed in recent years. Even the country’s once insular Hindi film industry, known for its formulaic song-and-dance dramas and thrillers, is taking notice of the boom and adapting popular novels into movies."

See the full article at --