Saturday, February 19, 2022

Seven unlikely love stories in literature

Saumya Roy is the author of Castaway Mountain: Love and Loss Among the Waste Pickers of Mumbai, a narrative non-fiction book about the garbage landfill of Mumbai. It is among NPR, Washington Independent Review, Telegraph India, GQ India, and's best loved books for 2021.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven books that "trace the unlikely journey of love bucking against constrictions within and without—making us all worthy of romantic love," including:
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

The beautiful and fierce divorcee Ammu lives with her twin children, Rahel and Esthapen, in Ayemenem, a village caught in the throes of communism and the endless entrails of religion and caste. “There are rules for who is to be loved and how. And how much,” Roy writes in her hypnotic, intense, unforgettable love story set in the ‘70s. Ammu’s family runs Paradise Pickles and mostly lives by “the laws that made grandmothers grandmothers, uncles uncles, mothers mothers, cousins cousins, jams jams and jelly jelly.” Then Ammu and the children see Velutha, their Dalit carpenter, in a communist rally. The unbending laws that dictate their lives begin to quiver and crumble. The powerful last scene is a memory of Velutha swimming across the river to meet Ammu: “he folded his fear into a perfect rose. He held it out in the palm of his hand. She took it from him and put into her hair.”
Read about another entry on the list.

The God of Small Things is among Miranda Doyle's top ten books about lies.

--Marshal Zeringue