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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Anosh Irani’s Bombay

Anosh Irani and Sheryl MacKayThis afternoon I attended a recording for the CBC Studio One Book Club. The guest author this week was Anosh Irani [seen in the photo with Sheryl MacKay in CBC Studio One]. Anosh published his first novel with Raincoast Books, The Cripple and His Talismans.

I was completely hooked on his writing the first time I read the novel, then I happened to get tickets to his play The Matka King, which was put on by the Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver. What impresses me about Anosh is his ear for dialogue. The dialogue in his novels is especially engaging. It is witty and sarcastic and there’s a beautiful flow between the narrative and the dialogue. It’s not like some books where the dialogue seems completely structured.

Reading The Cripple and HIs Talismans was like reading an Indian Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A sense of doom hangs in the story, but it is mixed with strangely magical moments. There are passages in the book that are still vivid in my imagination. Magical realism from Bombay.

Anosh mentioned in the book club today that his new book is more realistic whereas The Cripple was more surreal. In an interview with John Burns in The Georgia Straight Anosh said that he’s looking to create a series of stories about Bombay that each reveal a different side to the city.

It was certainly clear today listening to Anosh speak about his childhood, his parents, moving to Vancouver and his writing, that there are many more stories to come. This is one author who is definitely on my radar. His new play, Bombay Black, is being produced in Toronto by Cahoots Theatre. If you have the chance to go, please let me know how it is. I’m hoping that the Arts Club puts it on here in Vancouver.

More about Anosh Irani’s The Song of Kahunsha
The Song of Kahunsha is set in Bombay in 1993 at the time of the violent clashes between the Muslims and Hindus. Ten-year-old Chamdi has left his orphanage for the streets of Bombay. He’s searching for his long-lost father and has no hope in hell of finding him, yet he is a boy filled with hope. The novel is his struggle with his new friendships, the enemies on the street and his own dreams. You can read the reviews and descriptions on Amazon.ca.

Also check out The Cripple and His Talismans. A fantastic read. And if you find it in hardcover, the design is beautiful. It is red cloth over board with embossed symbols on the cover.

More about CBC Studio One Book Club
Always enjoyable to see how the radio works. You can be an audience member by entering the CBC online contests to win a seat. Usually you have to write a snippet on why you want to attend. May 7 is David Suzuki. Watch for details on http://www.cbc.ca/bc/bookclub/. The book club is hosted by Sheryl MacKay of CBC Radio and John Burns of the Georgia Straight, and is recorded for broadcast on North by Northwest and other CBC Radio programs. Anosh’s recording should be on next weekend.

Anosh is a great writer, very nice, and also easy on the eyes smile

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