Tabish Khair’s reading recommendations

King Lear by William Shakespeare

Tabish Khair’s reading recommendations

Obviously there is more drama in this; there is betrayal, hope, fury, dejection, an interesting cocktail. There is a challenge hurled at the skies, and just when nice people in the audience prepare to clap at a happy ending, why, in walks King Lear with the dead body of his innocent daughter. Had Shakespeare not placed his play in the pagan past, he might have had to answer to the Church for insinuating that God may not exist.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Tabish Khair’s reading recommendations

I love to move by a few centuries and pick up this story about a dark unknown child brought into a genteel house. He grows up on the margins of power and also whipped by power. He is driven away by all that does not belong to him. When he comes back, he uses the instruments of power that had marginalised him to empower himself. But he loses, in the process, what was most precious to him.

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Tabish Khair’s reading recommendations

If you don’t have the patience for long reads, pick up this small classic by Nikolai Gogol. We Indians would instantly identify with his Dead Souls. It is a moving story about how the dead are cultivated for profit. You will understand the global economy; and you will also understand the TRP game. Everything is conveyed indirectly in this book because the best understanding comes when it is slanted.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCuller

Tabish Khair’s reading recommendations

The author was 23-years-old when she wrote this brilliant novel about a deaf man’s encounters in a mill town in the US state of Georgia. You will recognise the wasted hope with just a bit of effort. Maybe less effort than you need to put into the great short stories of Mahasweta Devi, because she often wrote about aborigines and the Indian middle class dreams only of America.

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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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 12:56:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/author-tabish-khairs-reading-list/article32890764.ece

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