TBR Recommends – February 2022

50 Words for Snow by Nancy Campbell
Eliot and Thomson Ltd., London; 224pp; non-fiction

“From mountain tops  and frozen seas to city parks, writer and Arctic traveller Nancy Campbell digs deep into the meaning of fifty words for snow in different languages – each of them offering a whole world of myth and story.” The book delivers what the blurb promises, and how! 

Love and the Turning Season : India’s  Poetry of Spiritual and Erotic Longing edited by Andrew Schelling, Introduction by Eliot Weinberger (Translations from various languages)
Counterpoint Press, USA; 160pp; poetry

This anthology presents an elegant and passionate translation of the wild, devotional poetry of bhaktas with a commentary to each one by Andrew Schelling. Eliot Weinberg’s masterly introduction is a pleasure to read. The time span covers centuries – from the fifth to the twelfth – thus providing an underbelly of understanding to the rise of the bhakti movement as well.

The World of the Tamil Merchant Pioneers of International Trade by Kanakalatha Mukund
Penguin Random House, India; 240 pp; non-fiction

“How did the Tamil merchant become India’s first link with the outside world?”A page-turner of a book crammed with fascinating details , maps and rock solid research on the Tamil merchants in the ancient and medieval periods of India. Kanakalatha Mukund’s style is engaging and erudite, well paced and deeply invested in the period.  With an sweeping introduction by Gurcharan Das, the Series Editor.

Don Domanski Selected Poems 1975-2021 edited by Autumn Richardson & Richard Skelton
Corbel Stone Press, UK; 344pp; poetry

This handsome and tastefully produced book is a treat to hold, read and keep on the shelf. Don Domanski’s intense and beautifully wrought poems on life’s interconnectedness and the holy mysteries of the earth was published posthumously by the two poets who head the fine independent press in the UK.

Heavy Time a Psychogeographer’s Pilgrimage by Sonia Overall
Penned in the Margins, London; 248pp; non-fiction

Heavy Time is rightly termed a talisman of a book, which doesn’t just describe a pilgrimage but becomes one for author Sonai Overall, and us, the readers. A gentle yet riveting read that refreshes us as the author calls our attention time and again to asides on her singular walk through the countryside, stepping away from the restrictions of the ordinary.

Witness of Remembrance – Selected Newer Poems by Kunwar Narain, Translated by Apurva Narain
Eka/ Westland, India; 289pp; poetry

Over 100 poems of Kunwar Narain translated from the Hindi and introduced by Apurva Narain. Visionary insights, intimate remembrances, profound poetry which is translated with sophistication and sensitivity to render their austere surfaces with resonance and making their eclectic, wide-ranging selection a delight to read. 

The River of Heaven – The Haiku of Basho, Buson, Issa and Shiki Translated by Robert Aitken
Counterpoint, USA; 208pp; poetry

Those familiar with haiku know that books by the American Zen Roshi Robert Atkins are to be cherished. In this selection, he offers luminous translations accompanied by piercingly wise comments that take the reader into the essence of terse poetic gems of Buddhist philosophy.

Paintings in Proust by Eric Karpeles
Themes & Hudson, London; 352pp; non-fiction  

Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is among the most profoundly visual works of Western literature. Lavishly illustrated, Eric Karpeles has lovingly traced every painting mentioned in Proust’s book, placing it alongside the accompanying paragraph. A feast for the eyes as it celebrates the close relationship between the visual and the literary arts in Proust’s masterpiece.’

CategoriesTBR Recommends
Priya Sarukkai Chabria

Priya Sarukkai Chabria is an award-winning poet, writer, translator and curator Her books include four poetry collections of which Sing of Life Revisioning Tagore’s Gitajali is the most recent; the speculative fiction novels Clone and Generation 14 and numerous anthologised stories; literary non-fiction Bombay/Mumbai: Immersions, a novel, and translation from Classical Tamil Andal The Autobiography of a Goddess which won the Muse India Translation Prize, 2017. Her story Slo-Glo won the Kitaab Experimental Story Award, Best Reads by Feminist Press and was recognised for her Outstanding Contribution to Literature by the Government of India. She has presents her extensively anthologized work worldwide; her work is also widely translated. Her study of the Sanskrit rasa theory of aesthetics and Tamil Sangam (2-4BCE) poetics channel into her work. She’s the Founding Editor of Poetry at Sangam. http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/. www.priyasarukkaichabria.com