Bangalore, Dec. 19: Invisible Man Books, Bangalore, released ‘Fathers, Rebels And Dreamers’ book by By Arunachalam Kumar, Ralph Nazareth, and Richard Crasta, where Indian fathers speak out….at last! or How to Always Have a Child to Love.
It would be hard to be a human being and not shed a single tear during the reading of this book by three Indian fathers. “A part of me died,” one father writes of the moment when he discovers he can no longer play with his daughter. “Be grateful I am exactly the way I am,” writes a second father to his sons, who are far away and almost unreachable except by email. “When I am old, treat me more kindly, my son,” writes a third. In “Death of a Dreamer”, the fictional narrator, faced with a theoretical possibility of a lost child, arrives at this insight, “If you thought of all children on earth as ‘my children’, then . . . until the end of the world, you would always have a child to love.”
In this powerful, passionate, vulnerable, daring and sometimes heartrending collection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by three writers who all happen to be fathers connected with Mangalore, the theme of fatherhood and its joys and sorrows, its elations and its dilemmas, rubs shoulders with tales of medical adventures, naturalistic explorations, family scenes (including a fictional story of a “Terrorist Mother-in-Law”), and musings about Mangalore, described in Richard Crasta?s widely published novel The Revised Kama Sutra as a town of “nuns, nuts, and tile factories.”
The authors ask questions such as: How do you face the execution of your children or react to a dead man?s heartbeat? What happens when your daughter can no longer play with you? What does exile do to your voice?
In “Fathers and Sons” Richard Crasta writes the poignant story of his reconciliation with and rediscovery of his father, and how he ended up publishing his just-discovered and dusty father’s prisoner-of-war memoir, Eaten By the Japanese. In “Death of a Dreamer”, he writes the moving fictional story of a Dutch man who, separated from his children, withers and dies. In “How to Face the Execution or Stealing of Your Children,” he confesses that his “unreasonable and passionate” love for his flesh-and-blood children is inseparable from his similar love for his books, because “a book is an author?s child.”
Ralph Nazareth?s poetry speaks of such agonizing subjects as forcing medicine down the throat of his infant son, of coming back from America to bury his dead father, who has left without saying a personal goodbye. “In the End Times” is probably one of the most powerful, defiant, and humanistic anti-war poems ever written.
Arunachalam Kumar, who is a legend among his medical students at Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, and widely published and blogged on the Internet, has written moving stories about fatherhood, rescued animals, domestic scenes, medical intrigues, and Freddie the Frog. His gentle humor as well as a quaint and unique style and a wide range of references make for engrossing reading.
Indian writers have written volumes about space, philosophy, and the meaning of life, but not enough about their own feelings for their fathers or their children?according to Richard Crasta, who decided to put this book together. Thus, this book showcases not just elegies or encomiums to fatherhood, but complex feelings about the dilemmas and paradoxes of modern family life, in which families have been separated by long distances, national borders, and walls of many kinds. This book tries to make a strong beginning in that direction. While humor and engrossing writing abound, there are moments when the writing peaks in the feeling and intensity of a father holding a dead child in his arms and asking, “Why? Why? Why?”
With this book, Invisible Man Books now has four invisible Indian men on its list of authors: the three authors of this book, and the late author of Eaten By the Japanese. Also, Richard Crasta has broken his five-year literary silence with the production of two books (the other being What We All Need).
About the Authors:
, widely published author of four books and a prodigious number of articles and research papers on the web and elsewhere, is a maverick
Professor of Anatomy at KMC, Mangalore, where he has lived ever since his days as a medical student. His passions include conservation and wildlife biology.
Ralph Nazareth was born in Mangalore, ran away from God, father, and motherland in 1968. He has spent the last three decades in the United States trying to figure out why and discovering how much he loved them. He authored the poetry collection Ferrying Secrets, and is a Professor of Literature and publisher of Yuganta Press.
He lives in Stamford, Connecticut, is a ferocious critic of war, and volunteers his time to teach poetry to prison inmates.
is the author of The Revised Kama Sutra, Beauty Queens, Children and the Death of Sex, Impressing the Whites, and the just-released What We All Need, also published by Invisible Man Books. His books have been published in many countries, and translated into many languages including Hebrew, Czech, and Italian. He has lived in New York and Mangalore, and spends much of his time in India and Southeast Asia.
RE-RELEASE OF REVISED KAMA SUTRA – One of the funniest, most talked about, and highly praised novels to come out of India, The Revised Kama Sutra, the story of an Indian boy growing into manhood, has been published in eleven countries and eight languages. The highly acclaimed original Viking Penguin edition, recommended by Lonely Planet, is now republished by Invisible Man Books. It is the story of Vijay Prabhu, a small-town Indian boy, survivor of the Five Pillars of Oppression?bells, canes, penis shame, girl shame, and sports. Filled with erotic longing and a deep desire to be free of conservative Mangalore, he embarks on a sexual and spiritual odyssey that ends in America, the land of free sex, greenbacks, and Campbell?s Cream of Chicken Soup.
“Very funny”?Kurt Vonnegut, famous American author
“Hilarious”?Tim O?Brien, winner of the National Book Award.
“A craftsman of letters. Hilarious. Almost read it nonstop.” ?Khushwant Singh
WHAT WE ALL NEED:
A REJOINDER TO THE PERSECUTORS OF KHUSHBOO AND SANIA BY THE ULTIMATE ARGUMENTATIVE INDIAN?
If Khushboo and Sania Mirza have attracted fundamentalist ire for saying far milder things, could it be that they did not couch their statements in humor, or package it in a book? For if Richard Crasta?s witty and dark new book alternates between laugh-out loud passages and issues of utmost seriousness such as the HIV problem and public distrust of official information and statistics (addressed partly to Bill Gates), as well as the secret tragedy of millions of people being addicted by their doctors to drugs that neither patients nor doctors know enough about, the internationally published author has an explanation: “I needed to balance dark with light. There is so much darkness in a few essays such as ‘Tales of Shame in Benzo Land’, that I need five chapters of light, of humor and satire, to overcome just one such essay.’
What We All Need may also be one of the funniest and most courageous books ever published, a book like no other. What do we all really need? Richard Crasta’s answer may be shocking to some, but its satirical, subversive and humanistic logic is almost inescapable, especially if one reads it from beginning to end, savoring every line and every sharp observation, including his humanistic approach to war and terrorism. Still, the author is astonished and pleased that his book hasn’t been banned yet. (His Penguin editor’s fears of The Revised Kama Sutra being banned also didn?t come true.)
For in this book, Richard Crasta confirms his reputation as one of India’s few no-holds-barred writers (as India Today once described him), as one who goes “where no Indian writer has gone before,” (Asian Age), and one who refuses to sit at the back of the bus of literary freedom. The author of the celebrated and internationally published novel The Revised Kama Sutra, and of Impressing the Whites has just published a new book startlingly different from anything you have ever read by any Indian writer.
Psychologists and thinkers recommend contrarian thinking as a way of sharpening the brain, broadening horizons, and questioning the widely accepted view of reality, and Crasta?s book in this sense is a startling, refreshing, and mentally rejuvenating kind of book.
In between, the book romps through subjects as diverse as the Pink Berets plan to neutralize Al Qaeda, a fictional essay addressed to Bill Gates, an essay that redefines History, and the Great Bangalore Backrub. All of these are unified by the prism of Crasta?s viewpoint and his witty, sexy, and passionate style. Politics, literary issues, and India?s tortured and confused Puritanism are dealt with in an essay on Indian massage and by another on India?s somewhat unbalanced literary outpourings.
In “The Anti-Literary Manifesto”, Crasta describes What We All Need as his act of self-liberation from five years of internal oppression and public silence, of a “Guantanamo of the spirit”; the material, comprising five books in progress, had to come out, and couldn?t await the books? completion.. To resist the urge for perfection is liberating and human, he adds. In this book, pain and vulnerability coexist with vibrant humor, exuberance, defiance, and the kind of unconventional thinking and language that is a trademark of his style. Alternative and contrarian views on society, morality, and war, and exposes of literary and medical scams abound in this book by one of the ultimate argumentative Indians. The book, priced at Rs. 295/-, a book to relish and reread, has just been launched at Oxford Bookstore in Bangalore, in New Delhi, and in Mangalore, the author?s home town.
The book is a 179-page paperback combining fiction and nonfiction, sells at Rs. 295/-, and is published by Invisible Man Books, Bangalore.
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