It’s been a year of great books. First, foremost, the shatteringly beautiful and moving account of the Tamil language as grammar, life and love by David Shulman. The most haunting story he tells in Tamil: A Biography is of the repeated loss and recovery of the literary tradition. Or so the story goes.
In fiction, Rachel Cusk’s Outline. I am late to this book by a couple of years. And I read it after two years of intensive reading, commissioning and editing of plot-driven narrative. I was deeply fatigued of it by the time I stumbled upon Outline. I found the purity and music of a novel made up of voices (and with no discernible plot) restorative. I am saving her next novel Transit for year-end reading.
I consumed the three books of N K Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy in two continuous weeks of sleepless nights: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky. Powerful, gripping storytelling set many thousand years in the Earth’s future.