Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Feb. 3: Back to snowy cold!

But not as cold. . . only mid-twenties, and now around 5 pm it's 19. However, the wind is from the north, as BH pointed out, and there's fine snow in it. Brrrr. Wrap up in your scarf!

Today I want to write about audiobooks. Right now I am listening to Jumpa Lahiri's newest short story collection, Unaccustomed Earth. It is excellent, for many reasons: first, the woman can write. Period, amen. Secondly, hearing the stories read by two Indian readers, one female (Sarita Choudhury), one male (Ajay Naidu), makes them come alive: I never knew it was pronounced "CALcutta", for example. Thirdly, and closely related to reason #2: I have a weakness for an Anglo-Indian accent. . . though maybe it's just an "Indian accent," since I have never heard an Indian speaking French, for example. BUT: something about the way the syllables are presented, the way the consonants are aspirated, the way the vowels are held in the back of the mouth--appeals to me immensely. I could listen to Choudhury and Naidu read the phone book, I think!

The collection consists of several longish stories, and Lahiri takes a variety of views, characters, narrators, etc., in them. My least favorite is the title story, which seemed to drag a bit; right now I am listening to the last set of three linked stories, called, judging by the reviews, "Hema and Kashik". . .and it's compelling and fascinating; when I turn the car off and come into the house, I want to read it still!

Highly recommended!

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