Author du Jour: Amulya Malladi


A House For Happy Mothers” by Amulya Malladi (Lake Union Publishing, p 329, $14.95)

Here is another book dealing with a woman, who appears to have it all, except for one thing. In this case it is not a love partner but a child who is missing to complete self- fulfillment. Delivered with mastery by Indian bestseller author, Amulya Malladi, and with engaging characters, A House For Happy Mothers deals with the tough decisions and consequences to have recourse to surrogacy. Priya, one of the main protagonists, a tech guru in Silicon Valley, has been unable to conceive. She joins the “Happy Mothers” in India, where she meets Asha, whose poverty prevents her to send her gifted child to school. Resigned Asha accept to rent her only asset, her womb, to carry Priya’s child. But the story is not a sentimental celebration about rearing a child or an exposé on the conflict arising when foreign worlds collide with each other in order to help each other. It is also a commentary on the best and the worst of the rising Indian surrogacy industry.

Author du Jour: Boris Fishman

Dont-let-my-baby-do-rodeo-smallDon’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo
by Boris Fishman
Harper/Harper Collins, p 336,

A sophomore release from Boris Fishman, an author who appeared on “books du Jour, the TV series when he released his first book,
“A Replacement Life.” If you forgive me the cliché, the fruit never falls too far from the tree, and you could say that it is true about “Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo.” From Russian-Belarus descent, Boris writes characters as wide as legendary Russian rivers, with the same verve and punchy style.

Here we have a couple riding together the deceiving roads of life. The dislocation erupts when they adopt, Max, an eight-year-old boy from Montana, who little by little regresses to a feral state. Not what the couple had bargained for. It is precisely the dislocation that their son brings up that highlight the parent’s own sense of inner dilemma. Who are those Slavic transplants straddling a dual culture and languages, constantly playing a tug of war between belonging here and having the heart at times somewhere else? Perhaps it is this dislocation that will allow the family to survive and for the members to fine-tune how they see life in the future. But first they may have to visit part of themselves, which may not be too be comfortable, just to see who they are inside.

Author du Jour: Nick Sousanis

Author du Jour: Nick SousanisUnflattening

Sousanis-UnflatteningIf you are looking something truly original. Something that will make you think, look no further. “Unflattening” is a graphic novel like no other. A PhD dissertation that looks at the way we learn. A meditation on education. Between the theme and depth of the concept with the captivating drawing, Mr. Sousanis is at the helm of an impressive set of skills.

Here below is from the publisher.

Unflattening” is an insurrection against the fixed viewpoint. Weaving together diverse ways of seeing drawn from science, philosophy, art, literature, and mythology, it uses the collage-like capacity of comics to show that perception is always an active process of incorporating and reevaluating different vantage points. While its vibrant, constantly morphing images occasionally serve as illustrations of text, they more often connect in nonlinear fashion to other visual references throughout the book. They become allusions, allegories, and motifs, pitting realism against abstraction and making us aware that more meets the eye than is presented on the page. (Harvard University Press, 2015)