'she looked so domesticated that she would have given the worst behenji a run for her money. '
The vicar’s understanding of the tragic world of Muslim girls living in British slums, caught between two cultures and belonging fully to neither, possessing little power to determine their own fates, seems to me to be equally accurate. Indeed, he explores this world with considerable subtlety as well as sympathy.
The girls are vastly superior, morally and intellectually, to their white counterparts. Their problem is precisely the opposite of that of the white youths: far from nihilism, it is the belief in a code of ethics and conduct so rigid that it makes no allowances for the fact that the girls have grown up and must live in a country with a very different culture from that of the country in which their parents grew up. In the eyes of their parents, the girls are easily infected with, or corrupted by, the dream of personal freedom, and since the only result of such personal freedom that the parents see around them is the utter disintegration of the white working class into fecklessness and slovenly criminality, where every child is a bastard and families are kaleidoscopic in their swiftly changing composition, they become even more rigidly conservative than they might otherwise have been. They cling to what they know, as to a plank in a storm at sea.
then along comes a chap like Alexander McCall Smith, who seems to regard book writing not as some rarefied art but as a form of daily exercise, like sit-ups or squats. Where most authors sweat to produce 1,000 words a day without self-mutilation, McCall Smith has been known to bang out three times that in a single sitting. He’s a living rebuke of the notion that novel-writing is the least bit arduous.
i feel marginally better now, about not having written my novel. the link is above in the title folks, until my shift and ctrl keys start working again....and now as the clock nears midnight here in the west coast, bon nuit, as they say in paris.
am currently savoring tarun tejpal's 'alchemy of desire' like a glass of cabernet sauvignon or bottle rather. speaking of cabernet, i have yet to see the ending of SIDEWAYS. woe is behenji...in a good way. sorry i can't provide links to any of these books. behenji's keyboard refuses to cooperate, mainly the shift and control keys. a new computer is on the way, courtesy of panditji. until then, go check out your favorite bookstore or else...what else...the library.
In many parts of the world -- in, for example, China, Iran and much of Africa -- the free imagination is still considered dangerous.
something to think about, bhaiyo and beheno...