Books

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Island Life - - Culture Diary -

Fam­ily Life {

By Akhil Sharma.} Hailed as a “supreme sto­ry­teller” for his “cun­ning, dis­may­ing and beau­ti­fully con­ceived” fic­tion (New York Times), Akhil Sharma is pos­sessed of a nar­ra­tive voice “as hyp­notic as those found in the pages of Dos­toyevsky” (The Na­tion). In his highly an­tic­i­pated sec­ond novel, Fam­ily Life, he de­liv­ers a story of as­ton­ish­ing in­ten­sity and emo­tional pre­ci­sion. We meet the Mishra fam­ily in Delhi in 1978, where eight-year-old Ajay and his older brother Birju play cricket in the streets, wait­ing for the day when their plane tick­ets will ar­rive and they and their mother can fly across the world and join their fa­ther in Amer­ica. Amer­ica to the Mishras is, in­deed, ev­ery­thing they could have imag­ined and more: when au­to­matic glass doors open be­fore them, they feel that surely they must have been mis­taken for some­body im­por­tant. Life is ex­tra­or­di­nary un­til tragedy strikes, leav­ing one brother se­verely brain-dam­aged and the other lost and vir­tu­ally or­phaned in a strange land. Ajay, the fam­ily’s younger son, prays to a God he en­vi­sions as Su­per­man, long­ing to find his place amid the ru­ins of his fam­ily’s new life.

Satin Is­land: A Novel

{ By Tom Mccarthy.} From the au­thor of Re­main­der and C, and win­ner of the Wind­ham Camp­bell Prize, a novel that prom­ises to give us the first and last word on the world. When we first meet U., our nar­ra­tor, he is wait­ing out a de­lay in the Turin air­port. Click­ing through cor­ri­dors of trivia on his lap­top he stum­bles on in­for­ma­tion about the Shroud of Turin, and is struck by the de­gree to which our ac­cess to the truth is al­ways me­di­ated by a set of veils or screens, with any world built on those truths in­her­ently un­sta­ble. A “cor­po­rate ethno­g­ra­pher,” U. is tasked with writ­ing the “Great Re­port,” an all-en­com­pass­ing doc­u­ment that would sum up our era.

Holy Cow: A Mod­ern-day Dairy Tale {

By David Du­chovny.} Elsie Bo­vary is a cow, and a pretty happy one at that—her long, lazy days are spent eat­ing, nap­ping, and chat­ting with her best friend, Mal­lory. One night, Elsie and Mal­lory sneak out of their pas­ture; but while Mal­lory is in­ter­ested in flirt­ing with the neigh­bor­ing bulls, Elsie finds her­self drawn to the farm­house. Through the win­dow, she sees the farmer’s fam­ily gath­ered around a bright Box God—and what the Box God re­veals about some­thing called an “in­dus­trial meat farm” shakes Elsie’s un­der­stand­ing of her world to its core. There’s only one so­lu­tion: es­cape to a bet­ter, safer world. And so a mot­ley crew is formed. Elsie, Jerry - a cranky, To­rah-read­ing pig who’s re­cently con­verted to Ju­daism- and Tom, a suave tur­key who can’t fly, but who can work an iphone with his beak. Tot­ing stolen pass­ports, they head for the air­port.

Happy City: Trans­form­ing Our Lives Through Ur­ban De­sign {

By Charles Mont­gomery.} Af­ter decades of unchecked sprawl, more peo­ple than ever are mov­ing back to the city. Dense ur­ban liv­ing has been pre­scribed as a panacea for the en­vi­ron­men­tal and re­source crises of our time. But is it bet­ter or worse for our hap­pi­ness? The award-win­ning jour­nal­ist Charles Mont­gomery finds an­swers to such ques­tions at the in­ter­sec­tion be­tween ur­ban de­sign and the emerg­ing science of hap­pi­ness, dur­ing a jour­ney through some of the world’s most dy­namic cities.

Leila’s Se­cret

{ By Koosh­yar Karimi.} In fun­da­men­tal­ist Iran, new life some­times means cer­tain death. When Leila comes to see Doc­tor Karimi, both are in dan­ger. Born in a slum to a Mus­lim fa­ther and a Jewish mother, Koosh­yar Karimi has trans­formed him­self into a suc­cess­ful doc­tor, an award-win­ning writer, and an ador­ing fa­ther. His could be a com­fort­able life but his con­science won’t per­mit it: he is in­ca­pable of turn­ing away the un­mar­ried women who beg him to save their lives by end­ing the preg­nan­cies that, if dis­cov­ered, would see them stoned to death. One of those women is 22-yearold Leila. Koosh­yar has res­cued count­less women, but Leila seeks his help for a dif­fer­ent rea­son. Spell­bind­ing and heart­break­ing, Leila’s Se­cret shows us ev­ery­day life for women in a coun­try where it can be a crime to fall in love.

ndthe night away from 8pm on­wards. The dance floor is guar­an­teed to be packed.

Lo­cated two min­utes from down­town Port Vila, on the bay. Ph: 25580.

Lo­cated on Tanna’s west coast, 2 km north of the main air­port, White Grass Re­sort is your gate­way to the mighty and beau­ti­ful Ya­sur vol­cano and to so much more. The re­sort’s four­teen in­di­vid­ual bu­res sit along the wa­ter, of­fer­ing fan­tas­tic views of the ocean. Dec­o­rated in an ex­otic Pa­cific-is­land style, the bu­res fea­ture lo­cal tim­ber and are spa­cious with all mod-cons. En-suite, hot showers, ceil­ing fans, mini bar and your pri­vate ve­randa with sea views; you don’t need to ‘rough it’ on your once-ina-life­time ad­ven­ture! In an idyl­lic lo­ca­tion, right on the wa­ter­front and en­closed by gor­geous gar­dens, there is di­rect ac­cess to the reef’s edge and in­ner reef pool for some fan­tas­tic snor­kel­ing. At the end of your ad­ven­ture-packed day, take a re­lax­ing dip in the swimming pool or, if you would like to con­tinue play­ing, a pe­tanque and pitch ‘n putt golf course are per­fect to build your ap­petite be­fore din­ner. When you are ready to re­lax, the cute and pri­vate ocean­front mas­sage bure is the place to go for a sooth­ing is­land mas­sage. The res­tau­rant takes in the mag­nif­i­cent panorama of the big blue ocean be­yond and serves de­li­cious fare for break­fast, lunch and din­ner. Ah, just imag­ine, sip- ping a cold beer or re­fresh­ing cock­tail at the end of a splen­did day…par­adise. White Grass Re­sort is def­i­nitely posh, but the best yet is all the ac­tiv­i­ties that it of­fers. Vis­it­ing Mount Ya­sur, is of course, a must. But if you are think­ing of spend­ing only a cou­ple of days, think again, be­cause there is so much more to do and you will miss it! For those who would like to ex­pe­ri­ence Van­u­atu cul­ture, White Grass has a num­ber of tours avail­able that will take you off the beaten path and into re­mote Van­u­atu. In the tour to Lokalan­gia Vil­lage, you will be able to ex­pe­ri­ence a real kas­tom vil­lage, and no, this is not

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