Have been so busy looking for something incredible to read, I haven't been up for recording the less than amazing stuff I've started. However, a few deserve recognition. For instance, TANTRIKA by Asra Q. Nomani, THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE and THE CALLIGRAPHER by Edward Dock.
TANTRIKA is written by a journalist and is fact rather than fiction. Setting out to do a story on "tantra" the pop sex yoga craze of the new new age, Nomani rediscovers her spiritual and genealogical roots. Raised a Muslim, her family once had ties in Sufism. Hindu links to Sufi spirituality are uncovered from deep beneath the socio-political divide of modern India. With "tantra" there would seem to be no "there" there, and Nomani's inability to define tantra is part of the success of the book. Yes, it would seem tantra is about mysticism and sex, magic and our darker instincts, making it a no-no in traditional Hindu society the same way Kabalah is in Judaism today. Noman's exploration of the many western attempts to package and market tantra through workshops, etc. is interesting in that it reinforces an instinctive awareness that you can't buy the kind of "awareness" necessary to a true spirituality, regardless of the school of thought.
(Tantra Links 1 2 3 4 5 6)
Dock's CALLIGRAPHER tells a good story, but the best part of the novel is the nod to John Donne's poetry. That and the fact that it inspired me to get together the tools to learn calligraphy myself.
(Caligraphy Links)1 2
THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE is difficult to describe. The story proceeds slowly and I'm only about half way through it. There is magic in synchronicity. There is a sense of an insatiable curiousity kidnapping the cat that propels the story from one unlikely situation to another. Murakami requires that we respect kidnapping of cats has no relationship with catnapping.
(Synchronicity Links) 1 2 3