Books

Characters from 'Serious Men' come alive during book reading session

(From left) Asha Mathen, Vice President, Deutsche Bank, Yog Japee, Shurthi Gupta and Kalieaswari of Theatre Y at a book reading session in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: R. Ragu  

An avid crowd listened in rapt attention as members of the theatre group, Theatre Y, read out extracts from Manu Joseph's Serious Men at the Landmark bookstore here on Wednesday.

From laughing aloud to whispering to a neighbour, and pondering over some sketches of the characters, the readings were both funny and poignant for the audience of different age groups.

The event was held as a prelude to The Hindu Best Fiction Award 2010, which will be announced at a literary evening in the city on November 1.

Serious Men is among the 11 books shortlisted for the Best Fiction Award, 2010.

The book is a satire on class, love, relationship and veneration of science, essayed by the protagonist Ayyan Mani, a Dalit who lives in the chawls of Mumbai. Yog Japee, Kalieaswari Srinivasan and Shruti Gupta of Theatre Y donned the role of different characters with the little props around them and modulation in their voice to bring Ayyan Mani, Oja Mani (Mani's wife), Adi (Mani's partially deaf 10-year-old son), among others, before the audience. The conversation between Mani and Sister Chastity of St. Andrews School, where Adi studies; Mani's attempts to change the ‘Quote of the Day' at his office for some fun; office politics… all these were well received by the gathering.

Piroja Belgamvala, member of Madras Book Club, said, “The readings were very well enacted. The modulation in their voice and a few props that they used came out well as you could envisage the character.”

P.B. Padmanabhan, a retired employee, said “the readings came out more like a play, but I only wished the author too was present.”

Introducing the author, Asha Mathen, vice-president, Deutsche Bank, said Mr. Joseph spent 20 years in Chennai before moving to Mumbai. She said the book, which took the author three years to write, was unique as every character and situation was so startlingly realistic. The life of science was also beautifully portrayed, she said.


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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 2:24:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/Characters-from-Serious-Men-come-alive-during-book-reading-session/article15795375.ece

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