Arriving into Absence: Hisham Matar’s Anatomy of a Disappearance

"When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."Only Oscar Wilde could have come up with something so bleak and so subversive. And so true, as Nuri el- Alfi, would have added in writer Hisham Matar's poignant bildungsroman Anatomy of a Disappearance.Living in Cairo, young Nuri, finds himself unable to fully comprehend his … Continue reading Arriving into Absence: Hisham Matar’s Anatomy of a Disappearance

The Man who Disappeared: Franz Kafka’s America

My entry into the bewildering world of Franz Kafka was through The Trial. The book with its story of a man persecuted for a crime he has no inkling of whatsoever was terrifying and apt as an analogy for life. For years, I dreaded picking up a Kafka again lest another facet of this impersonal universe where … Continue reading The Man who Disappeared: Franz Kafka’s America

Death of a Detective: Pablo De Santis’ The Paris Enigma

Books always contain secrets. We leave things between their pages and forget about them: lottery tickets, newspaper clippings, a postcard we've just received. But there are also flowers, leaves that attracted us with their shapes, or insects trapped in a paragraph's snare.Renato Craig, the famous detective of Buenos Aires, and one amongst the elite group … Continue reading Death of a Detective: Pablo De Santis’ The Paris Enigma

Growing Up (with books) in Nazi Germany: The Book Thief

The stars set fire to my eyes...Usually I avoid reading books set in Nazi Germany because in the guise of Nazi bashing there is a blanket basterdization of ordinary Germans - people caught on the wrong foot in the march of history.It was with this trepidation that I started The Book Thief. Had heard a lot about … Continue reading Growing Up (with books) in Nazi Germany: The Book Thief