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Dispatches From Champaca | May 22

dispatches from Champaca

Hello fellow book lover,

What have you been reading? We've spent much of this month enjoying the rains and chilly weather of Bangalore. It gave us an excuse to be tucked into our blankets with a book and a warm cup of tea. 

One of our team members read Patricia Lockwood's No One Is Talking About This – a book about a nameless character who lives on the internet and is sucked out of her online world when an all-consuming personal tragedy hits her life. It got us thinking about how unnamed characters are used as a literary device. Does it allow us to understand characters without associating religious, caste or enthinic identities to them? Does their anonymity serve as a metaphor for a crisis of identity or feeling lost? 

How do you feel about reading unnamed characters? Does it open up possibilities for you as a reader, or does it leave you without a distinct portrait of the character? Click the link to leave your thoughts.

May was a busy month for us – we went back to hosting full-fledged offline events. Madhuri Vijay, author of The Far Field, visited our space for a book signing. We had a book-reading of The Great Rifasa by author Rohini Nilekani with a packed house of enthusiastic children. We also hosted a conversation between educator Venkatesh Onkar and author Ashwin Prabhu on his book Classroom With A View, that is an expansive look at learning, based on his experiences in Krishnamurti schools. 

Here's what we've loved reading this month. One of our team members, Shakti, read Micheal Pollan's This is Your Mind On Plants and wrote a wonderful review for it on our blog. The book is a deep dive into three plant drugs – opium, caffeine, and mescaline. Another team member loved Vahuni Vara's The Immortal King Rao – a dystopian novel about family, ambition, memory and capitalism with a father-daughter relationship at the centre of the story. 

Until next time, happy reading!

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