a call for newness in indian writing

ok, so behenji is still giddy from her trip to disneyland but not giddy enough to not type. word of caution: do not climb tarzan's tree house on a full bladder;) no, but seriously, folks, why is jonathan safran (want to write saffron) foer getting such a beating for his latest book. have not read it yet, but amitava kumar, in an op piece in the hindu, uses it as a springboard to dive into the question:

How is newness to come into the world?

of course kumar is talking of literary newness and safran foer has, according to many of the literary minded, used gimmicks to make his novel appear different. although the article (again, click on the title folks) was a little too short and sweet for behenji, it definitely rang a bell. i wholeheartedly agree with kumar and eagerly await more innovation in south asian writing. wonder what kumar thinks of tejpal? i think he is doing something new too...no folks have not finished it yet. got sidetracked by other books that got sidetracked by other books.

the other day, as behenji's little bohemians stomped and romped in playful violence at a place called 'the jungle,' behenji was drinking coffee elsewhere while reading drinking coffee elsewhere by zz packer. packer is a former stegner fellow. whereas behenji is a future stegner fellow...inshallah. her language was heralded as sparkling, witty, and innovative by, again, those usual suspects--the mindfully literary minded. my experience so far: packer is smart, edgy and knows how to work with plot. The language is driven by the story and can at times be awfully plain, but imho it works. i was not as bowled over as i thought i'd be...but that's ok. it will be interesting to see how packer evolves into a novelist.

my friend has been raving about gregory robert's shantaram. that it is the most compassionate book on india she has ever read. and yes folks, she is indian. shantaram, with its glossy orange-red cover stares at behenji from her bookshelf in all its 1000 paged glory. behenji's friend says, put down all your other books and read this.

what say you, dear reader?