Homing In Authors

Author Anuradha Kumar’s lockdown reading list for you

Staying at home for a while? We have you covered. For your weekly Reading List, Anuradha Kumar, author of “Coming Back to the City: Mumbai Stories”, recommends collections that transport you to 20th-Century Albania and Second World War-era Quebec

Alice Munro’s Best: A Selection Of Stories

Author Anuradha Kumar’s lockdown reading list for you

I am re-reading this collection, which has the usual gems: the ones they teach you at all creative writing workshops, and for all the right reasons. I love how Munro structures her stories that could quite honestly begin from anywhere; how she explores interiority; and how she can make every life, and love, appear mysterious and intriguing. Some of my Munro favourites are The Albanian Virgin, Runaway, and a story with the longish title of Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.

The World Elsewhere and Other Stories by Nirmal Verma

Author Anuradha Kumar’s lockdown reading list for you

His classic collection, published in 1988, has stories translated by Krishna Baldev Vaid, Kuldip Singh, and others. I love the way he evokes loneliness of place and between people, and the nostalgia of small-town life in stories like Maya Darpan and The Difference.

William Trevor’s Last Stories

Author Anuradha Kumar’s lockdown reading list for you

It was published soon after he died in 2016. What I like about Trevor is how well he picks and details the sudden mundane moments that can be life-altering. Most decisive things in life begin in very ordinary ways, and Trevor is a genius in showing that in every one of his stories. His stories bring up the magic, the loss, in the fleeting moment; the ache felt about emotions that never really linger.

Varieties of Exile by Mavis Gallant

Author Anuradha Kumar’s lockdown reading list for you

Gallant, a Canadian writer (like Munro) who lived in Paris for most of her life, writes brilliantly of the expat experience, of Americans in Paris and Europe in the 1930s to 1970s. In a War however, is set in Quebec, during the Second World War. Gallant brings up the subtle differences between communities that, despite the constraints of war, remember their pasts with honour, and distance themselves from others with not so honourable ‘pasts’.

Karma and Other Stories by Rishi Reddi

Author Anuradha Kumar’s lockdown reading list for you

A Boston-based writer, she writes sensitively and with subtle humour about the cultural and generational differences among Indians in the US. In ‘Justice Shiva Ram Murthy’, a relatively older man comes to terms with his now shrivelled importance, and is dazed by the fact that even baristas and store clerks don’t understand him or his accent. Her first novel, Passage West, a story about the lives of early Punjabi farmers in California, is just out and I mean to read that too.

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 | Jun 1, 2020 1:53:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/author-anuradha-kumars-lockdown-reading-list-for-you/article31462958.ece

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