Saturday, October 10, 2020

A new review for Unbound

We do the work of creation in the hope that it achieves something in our communities. Something gentle, or fierce, or resplendent. Something that makes the world tilt, even if it is just at the molecular level. 

Today, I was feeling rather gratified at finding a review of Unbound: 2,000 Years of Indian Women's Writing. The book was published about five years ago and I wasn't expecting anyone to review it now. However, a reader has offered a very kind and personal response to the book. 

Aparna Ravikumar says: "This anthology’s charm lies in the way it has been put together. I could easily slip into the pages with an “Aha” moment here and an epiphany there. And slip out just as easily to have a meaningful discussion with the other mothers while waiting for our daughters at dance rehearsals. In the waiting room during my Dad’s surgery while reading the excerpt from Bama’s Chilli Powder with my mother, the lady next to her managed a chuckle through her snot-crusted, teary face. That’s when my mother realised that she was reading it aloud."

This is what one hopes to achieve when one puts together an anthology like Unbound: to convey to the reader the harsh beauty, the comedy and the farce, the sadness of this world, to deliver into their hands the words that have help us survive. Our foremothers, us, hopefully future generations too. Editing this anthology was hard work but I found my own cultural history and spiritual strength through all the reading I did while researching it. Seeing this review reminds me, once again, that those three and a half years was time well spent. 

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