“From the kitchen my mother brought forth the succession of dishes: lentils with fried onions,green beans with coconut,fish cooked with raisins in a yogurt sauce.

I followed with the water glasses,and the plate of lemon wedges,and the chili peppers, purchased on monthly trips to Chinatown and stored by the pound in the freezer,which they liked to snap open and crush into their food.”

-When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
Last night before dozing off to sleep I read the first two stories of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. I have come to the conclusion that fiction is the best possible escapism these days,and unlike most television can be truly enjoyed guilt free.

Lahiri is a very graceful writer. Being a particular sucker for any author who utilizes the ritual of food and daily life as a thematic centerpiece,she and I are off to a good start.

The first story A Temporary Matter can be found in its full state here.
The second story When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dinedetails the televised unfolding of the civil war in Pakistan,as being watched in a house that now calls America its home. Meanwhile, the main character,a young girl speaks of her American education,”That year, and every year,it seemed,we began by studying the Revolutionary War.


catarina.net had some thought provoking ideas yesterday on novels and people’s reading habits.

Recounting Shirley Brice Heath she writes:

She said that people who grow into avid readers in adulthood either had been “heavily modeled” by a parent who read serious books and encouraged the child to do the same, or the reader was a “social isolate” — a child who from an early age felt very different from everyone around him.


Finally Moira spotted an excellent article in yesterday’s NY Times about Haruki Murakami’sthoughts on the current state of terrorism. Murakami wrote the exhaustive book Underground concerning the Sarin attacks on the Tokyo’s subway system 6 years ago.