Reading for April and May 2007

In April I picked up Disgrace by J M Coetzee, which won the 1999 Man Booker prize. It is written very sparsely — so much so that significant racial distinctions between the characters are not clear at the outset — and the story is rather grim. The Man Booker people sure do love their post-Colonial fiction.
In May I read Howard’s End by E. M. Forster (#38 on the Modern Library list). This book was published in 1910, and at almost one hundred years old it is difficult to say in what ways the story is still relevant. One really has to read this book alongside other Edwardian Era/End of the Century novels (say, The House of Mirth and The Magnificent Ambersons) to get a feel for the period and its social mores.
Also read: Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This is another Man Booker winner, and one of the more readable (and enjoyable) Booker selections I have come across. A bit unpolished, there are a couple of devices that could’ve been worked in a little better, like the reason for there being 100 chapters, or the parallel narrative that disappears after the first section.
In progress: I also picked up a copy of Pynchon’s newest novel on May 24.

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