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Sunday, Oct 17, 2021
Outlook.com

My Book of the Century

My Book of the Century
My Book of the Century
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
I have a very short term memory, so it's difficult to assess a century of books. But my criteria for choosing are books I keep going back to. In that case my favourites are I. Allan Sealy's The Everest Hotel, Vikram Seth's An Equal Music, and Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes.

Sealy and Seth's books have an incredibly gentle, almost dragonfly touch. They both have this other worldly, faraway voice, which is just an inch above it all. As a writer, I know how difficult it is to achieve that, to hover just above and not come thumping down.

Angela's Ashes, an autobiography about a violent, traumatic Catholic childhood in Ireland, is one of the most searingly honest books I've ever read. Everything that can be wrong is wrong. There is the drunken stumbling father, the patient, suffering mother... Yet, set against a backdrop of extreme poverty and privation, the story is told with an unfailing gentle humour which never overtly pulls at your heartstrings.

(Bulbul Sharma is an artist and writer.)

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