- Hardcover: 360 pages
- Publisher: Fourth Estate (29 November 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9350293943
- ISBN-13: 978-9350293942
- Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.8 x 22.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,42,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Not Only The Things That Have Happened Hardcover – 29 Nov 2012
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Reading Mridula Koshy's debut novel Not Only the Things That Have Happened is akin to opening a diptych, a painting hinged in the middle, linking two images, telling a story that works its way across the canvas. Yet more so a diptych of the type referred to by early Christian literature the official lists of the living and the departed commemorated by the local church, where the living would be inscribed on one wing, and the departed on the other. Koshy's novel resounds with the names of the living and the dead, often repeated, whispered, remembered and called to in the dark, each with their own weight and inscription. The hinge of the halves of the novel the first set in Kerala and the second in "a small city in the Midwest, United States" is the link between mother and child, fragile yet ineffably resilient. Set within thirty-six hours, Kosky's story flits between the past and present, eloquently filling the pages with lifetimes lived and lost. While the sudden shifts in time and narrative voice might make for fragmented reading, the book is held together by two overarching movements that of Annakutty's future and Asa's past eventually melding. The author is adept at creating moments of pure poignancy even if we miss a touch of playfulness and laughter. As with her collection of short stories, If It Is Sweet, Koshy is a deft literary seamstress, intricately weaving a tapestry of voices and offering us a rich, layered glimpse into the workings of memory, community and family. --The Sunday Guardian
About the Author
Mridula Koshy's short-story collection If It Is Sweet (Tranquebar Press, 2009; Brass Monkey, 2011), won the 2009 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize and was shortlisted for the 2009 Vodafone Crossword Book Award. Koshy lives in New Delhi and Portland, Oregon, with her poet-school teacher partner and three exceptionally wonderful children.
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Top customer reviews
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There are many things that I loved about this book but one thing that jumped straight out of the pages was the descriptive ability of the writer who made the first half of the book an atmospheric read. The rural Kerala, the unrelenting monsoon, the dynamics among the characters are the highlights. Kerala in Koshy’s book isn’t the one that is put on the hoardings for the sake of boosting tourism. This is the Kerala which exists away from the tourist’s camera lens. The story takes you through the years that saw the changes in the society, that brought about development but also through lives of the close knitted community that held on to its beliefs.
Given that the title is a little tricky to remember but give this book a chance. It’s a winner all the way. One of the best south Asian fiction reads this year.