A quick shout-out for a new bookstore and a fine new book: Anjum Hasan’s second novel Neti, Neti (Not This, Not This) is being launched this week and I’ll be speaking with her about it at the newly opened CMYK book shop in the Meher Chand Market on 7th October, at 7 pm.
I wrote about Hasan’s first novel Lunatic in my Head here. Sophie Das – who was an eight-year-old living in Shillong (and in the world of her own imagination) in the first book – is a young woman of 25 in Neti, Neti. She has been living and working in Bangalore for a year, having effectively moved from one country to another, and Hasan does an excellent job of portraying her growing disaffection with both her present and her past life. The second novels of writers who scored a hit with their first are often disappointing, but this one isn’t. I thought it was an easier read than Lunatic in my Head (which isn’t meant as a judgement on either book) and this may partly be because their tones are dictated by their respective settings: Lunatic... was about three people feeling weighed down in a city where nothing ever seems to move, while Neti, Neti is set in a world where too much seems to be going on at once.
Come for the event if you can. And do look out for the book.