Summer read: River of fire


This book by Qurratulain Hyder iterates the same set of characters over 2,000 years in 4 or 5 instantiations.  It is placed in the region around Lucknow.  It is very literary.  It was readable.  There were lots of untranslated or half-translated foreign phrases.  It is an Important Novel.  I was a bit bored, but made it all the way through.   I felt bad for Champa, a recurring character, who never really catches a break in her personal life.  The repeated 4- or 5-fold bashing of Champa left me a bit down on the author.  You think the author could give her a break at least once.  The author, it should be noted, remained single her entire life.  In her photo on Wikipedia she looks like a bit of a yenta.


I’m just saying, maybe she likes to paint attractive characters into corners, because she can’t imagine a positive outcome.  Poor Champa.  Maybe I read it wrong, but that’s how I feel.

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