Monday, February 21, 2011

"The Space Between Us"

"The Space Between Us" by Thrity Umrigar.

I am silently drawn to books written about Indian culture. (Like Mumbai, India Indian culture.)

I'm fascinated by the descriptions of things I've never eaten or places I've never been. Indian authors (or the 2 I have read thus far- "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry was another) have this uncanny ability to transport their readers into the streets of their stories.

I can actually taste the dust in the "jhodpadpattis", smell the urine running through the streets, and feel the greasy heat. Hell, they even trust their readers to define their Indian words. A jjhodpadpatti is a slum, I think.

I recently finished Thrity's book and true to form, she wrote and I got to travel with her.

I read Bhima's story but above all, the "About the Author" pages is what I really want to share...

I might not know what a Parsi is vs. a Hindu, but I do know that Thrity the author is a smart woman.

Excerpts from her "Words to the Wise to the Would-Be Writer":

#1 : "Remember, it is possible to have a perfectly happy and balanced life without ever writing a book. You can take up less dangerous pursuits such as snowboarding, or skydiving, instead. In other words, give yourself permission not to write."

2: " If you are a true writer, you will find what I said laughable. Because for you, writing is a way of surviving in the world, the medium through which you make sense of your life."

#7: "Saying that you don't have time to write is an excuse. The fact is nobody has time to write, other than the miniscule number of writers who make their living from writing full-time. Most writers make the time to write. Their lives are no easier or less busy than anyone else's. They too have dentists appointments and kids who need trips to the emergency room and pets who puke in the kitchen and gardens that have to be watered and weeded. The difference between writers and non-writers is just that writers write. Non-writers talk about wanting to write."

I really want to have lunch with this woman.

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