Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Confession - John Grisham

An innocent man is days from execution. Only a guilty man can save him. Travis Boyette is a murderer. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high-school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched and waited as police and prosecutors arrested Donte Drumm, a local football star with no connection to the crime. Tried, convicted and sentenced, Drumm was sent to death row: his fate had been decided. Nine years later, Donte Drumm is four days from execution. Over 400 miles away in Kansas, Travis faces a fate of his own: an inoperable brain tumour will soon deliver the end. Reflecting on his miserable life, he decides to do what's right. After years of silence he is ready to confess. But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges and politicians that they're about to execute an innocent man?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

MRITYUNJAYA BY SHIVAJI SAWANT

The Marathi Novel As Epic The search for the meaning of being is man's eternal quest and the subject of his greatest creations. Shivaji Sawant's
Mrityunjaya is an outstanding instance of such a literary masterpiece in which a contemporary Marathi novelist investigates the meaning of the bewildering skein that is life through the personae of the Mahabharata protagonists. For over two decades since its first publication the vast non- Marathi and non-Hindi readership remained deprived of this remarkable exploration of the human psyche till the publication of this English translation by the Writers workshop - a contribution for which there is much to be grateful for Mrityunjaya is the autobiography of Karna, and yet it is not just that. With deceptive case, Sawant brings into play an exceptional stylistic innovation by combining six "dramatic soliloquies" to form the nine books of this novel of epic dimensions. Four books are spoken by Karna. These are interspersed with a book each from the lips of his unwed mother Kunti, Duryodhana (who considers Karna his mainstay), Shon (Shatruntapa, his foster-brother, who here-worships him), his wife Vrishali to whom he is like a god and, last of all, Krishna. Sawant depicts an uncanny similarity between Krishna and Karna and hints at a mystic link between them, investing his protagonist with a more-than-human aura to offset the un-heroic and even unmanly acts which mar this tremendously complex and utterly fascinating creating of Vyasa. The beginning of the novel is riveting in its newness and simplicity: "I want to say something today.... a time comes when the dead have to speak too. When this flesh-and-bones living behave like the dead, then the dead have to come alive and speak out". That is Sawant's pregnant comment on the state of contemporary society, where class and caste ride roughshod over innate worth; where the most intimate ties are denied for the sake of conformity with social norms.