A Coin and a Cake

by zunguzungu

I have a dilemma. I’m trying to prevent myself from destroying my holiday — a holiday in which I have other work to do — by blogging, since one thing I‘ve learned about myself is that no resolution towards good behavior is nearly enough; the never satiated maw of the blog always beckons, demanding that I feed it, and only when I hurl my soporific cake of honey and medicated grain into its maw does this Cerberus shut his yapping mouth.

Today, I’m going to keep the beast at bay not by writing, but by linking to a writer whose postings are on the short-list of bloggers whom I will drop everything to read, Lapata at Chapati Mystery. Her essays are not just engaging and deeply insightful — with a broad perspective on what is actually interesting in the novels she’s reading, a kind of worldliness which too often eludes literary critics — but as a visual artist, she has an architectural sense of how to blend illustration, line/paragraph breaks,  and text that I deeply admire. It is her fault that I’m now really interested in Pakistani literature, albeit with some key assists from Sepoy, who you should also be reading.

Some of her best from 2010:

Cocoonistan — on the recent “Granta Pakistan” issue
Little Green Men — On Aliens in america
From the Department of Unfinished Business —  On the portrayal of terrorists in Indian cinema
The Reluctant Feudalist — on Daniyal Mueenuddin and Saadat Hassan Manto
Oscar Wow — On The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Stay-At-Home Man — On Naiyer Masud and authenticity
Flyover Country — On Amitava Kumar’s Home Products and, well, a lot more