Tuesday, April 13, 2010

'Laburnum...' an evocative, powerful read

Gripping, not in the sense of a thriller novel, but one in which the reader feels compelled to go on as events unfold in each of the tales. Temsula Ao's collection of short stories, "Laburnum- For My Head" is a sensitively written book, which draws inspiration from the vibrant and troubled region of northeast India.

A bouquet of eight stories, the book is interesting because of its sheer diversity. There is a wide gamut of emotions -- heart wrenching, witty and those riddled with irony. There are stories which are inspired from myths and others which are contemporary and very relevant to today's times.

In short, it has something for everyone.

"Laburnum- For My Head", the first story in the book, the title of which is same as that of the cover, is about a woman who falls in love with the buttery-yellow Laburnum blossoms- so much so that she decides that instead of a grand tombstone, a Laburnum tree should rest on her burial site and works towards ensuring the same in her lifetime.

Relevant to the present times, "The Letter" is another story in which Ao adeptly portrays the complicated relationship that a village has with an insurgent group and the Indian armed forces, bearing the brunt of both and struggling to balance the two while dealing with their own lives.

Full report here Little About

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