Monthly Archives: September 2016

Six Stories and an Essay by Andrea Levy: That Polite Way That English People Have

In That Polite Way That English People Have, Andrea Levy introduces Hortense “Blossom” Hunter to us, who would later become a main character in Small Island novel. In the short story we have Hortense, who has worked hard from the age of sixteen to buy a passage to go to England and train as a nurse. Hortense […]

Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

In Heat and Dust, we have Olivia, the beautiful society wife of Douglas, the “upright and just” civil servant who “worked like a Trojan” in pre-independence India. Left to her own devices in a house full of servants all day long, Olivia is bored out her mind, but one fine day they get invited to […]

Six Stories and an Essay by Andrea Levy: Deborah

Truth to be told, Deborah, the second short story in the collection gave me heebie jeebies! The story had been written at a time two minors had committed murder (I think Andrea Levy was referring to this), when newspapers were full of discussions on evil children as a result. In the story, Deborah is a young girl […]

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

My head leaning against the carriage window, I watch these houses roll past me like a tracking shot in a film. I see them as others do not; even their owners probably don’t see them from this perspective. Twice a day, I am offered a view into other lives, just for a moment. There’s something […]

Helga’s Folly – A dreamy mansion tucked high on a hill

Tomorrow I’ll be back with a bookish post. But today I’m taking you home to Helga’s Folly… 🙂 Helga’s Folly, unknown to many, is a truly remarkable boutique hotel that leaves most of its visitors wonder-struck. Located in upcountry Sri Lanka overlooking the mountain scenery of Kandy city, the bright red exterior of Helga’s Folly […]

Six Stories and an Essay by Andrea Levy: The Diary

The Diary, the first short story in the collection is one of Andrea Levy’s earliest works. In the introduction Andrea Levy says how often people mistakenly think writing short stories takes less time, when in reality it can be consuming as any novel. Although I’m not a writer, I share her view. Now, moving to […]

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

She wished: that they would be happy in Stepford. That Pete and Kim would do well in school, and that she and Walter would find good friends and fulfillment. That he wouldn’t mind the commuting – though the whole idea of moving had been his in the first place. That the lives of all four of […]

Six Stories and an Essay by Andrea Levy: Back to My Own Country

It was early nineteen sixties, a time where a black man riding a bus was not a common sight in London. He was talkative, but in a bus full of white people he was an alien and no one wanted anything to do with him. This encounter is one that became embedded in young Andrea Levy’s mind, […]

Six Stories and an Essay by Andrea Levy

Small Island, Andrea Levy’s well known novel has been sitting on my shelves for a few years now, but for some reason I never got around reading it. So I thought I will give Six Stories and an Essay a try and see if I could get myself motivated to read Small Island sooner than later. 😀 […]

Visit to Pulau Ketam – In search of fresh seafood

If you are a traveler hungry for fresh seafood, you will not be disappointed in Malaysia with its lengthy coastlines and rivers operating as wet markets. Not far from Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Ketam (also known as crab island) is an ideal destination for someone who would like to enjoy a hot meal in humble surroundings with a […]

Melaka – A city with few relics of a bygone era

Added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008, Melaka is one of the two cultural heritage sites in Malaysia. Melaka, as a trading port city in early days, and a powerful one at that, had enough wealth to capture the eye of the Portuguese (in 1509), the Dutch (in 1641), and the British (in 1824), who would […]

Kuala Lumpur highlights – A little taste of Asia

Kuala Lumpur, a metropolis renown for its cultural diversity, is worth exploring due to the enthralling assortment of sights it provides. For those who will find themselves in this big city in future, I’ve created a short itinerary for two days based on the experiences of my recent visit. 🙂 Day 01 Start your day with a visit to the […]

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Upon reading the very first sentence of The Vegetarian, where Mr Cheong describes his wife to be “completely unremarkable in every way”, it was obvious to me that I was in for a treat. He is certainly not a man in love, at least not with his wife, so what made him marry her? In […]