Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Clear Light of Day

Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai
This book was published in 1980 and it is the first book I have read by Anita Desai. Anita Desai has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize twice in her writing career. She teaches at a college in India and I find it odd that I have never picked a book by this author before now. A few years ago I read a book by Anita Desai's daughter named The Inheritance of Loss. Kiran Desai did win the Booker Prize for it. In fact the whole time I was reading Clear Light of Day, I thought the books were by the same author. Their writing styles and some of the themes were very similar.

I happened to like Clear Light of Day, a story of siblings at the time of the partition of India, better than The Inheritance of Loss. Both were complicated and contained vague mentions of Indian history. Unfortunatly I don't have a broad knowledge base of India and so couldn't quite understand all the nuances of history in each of the novels. I needed more historical detail!

I am not sure what it is but the Desai's and I don't seem to make a good author/reader connection. While I liked this story, I just wasn't riveted nor did I see the broader connection to India's history probably because the author didn't give me enough information. Darn it, I really tried to like it but she just didn't have me at hello like other books do.

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