Author Anees Salim’s recommendations for lockdown reading

Staying at home for a while? We have you covered. This week’s Reading List features world literature hand-picked by Anees Salim , author of ‘The Small Town Sea’, ‘Vanity Bagh’, ‘The Blind Lady’s Descendants’

May 13, 2020 04:41 pm | Updated 04:46 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

KERALA, KOCHI, 22/07/2013. Anees Salim, Head  Creative DRAFTFCB+ ULKA,  and novelist during a photoshoot with The Hindu MetroPlus in Kochi on Monday.Photo:K_K_Mustafah.

KERALA, KOCHI, 22/07/2013. Anees Salim, Head Creative DRAFTFCB+ ULKA, and novelist during a photoshoot with The Hindu MetroPlus in Kochi on Monday.Photo:K_K_Mustafah.

“Rather than giving me more time to read, the lockdown has derailed my reading pattern, thanks to the complications involved in the ‘work from home’ scenario. However, I could finish three books and start the fourth one,” says the author.

Th e Return by Hisham Matar

This biography, which won the Pulitzer prize in 2017, traces a son’s journey through Libya in search of his father. The Return is more than just a memoir, it is a book of immense historical value and sketches a stark picture of a country that was first destroyed by colonial rule, then by Gaddafi regime and time and again by warring factions. The book also rekindled my interest in the movie Omar Mukhtar: The Lion of the Desert .

State of Wonder by Ann Pratchett

I picked up this book without realizing that it is about a group of American scientists and their pursuit of a wonder drug. It is mostly set in the Brazilian Rio Negro and narrates the lives of tribes in the deepest corner of the Amazon. The book is a bit heavy on research details but the stunning description of the rainforest and its flora kept me engaged.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

After reading The Secret Life of Bees by the same author, I would love to read anything by her. Based on real events and set in the nineteenth century America, this book tells the story of the friendship between two women – a mistress and her slave.

A House for Mr. Biswas by VS Naipaul

I would recommend this and the next for reading during this period. The story of Indo-Trinidadian Mohun Biswas’ efforts in vain to succeed in a colonial scenario. Finally, his goal is only about owning his own house.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The book describes the murder of a young man called Santiago Nasar, and the events leading to this death.

We would love to know how you are keeping busy at home. Tell us what you are reading, at metro@thehindu.co.in

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