Meatless Days

Meatless DaysSome Of The Heart Shaking Writing About Love And Grief I Ve Ever Read Kamila Shamsie, From The Introduction Meatless Days Is A Searing Memoir Of Life In The Newly Created Country Of Pakistan When Sudden And Shocking Tragedies Hit The Author S Family Two Years Apart, Her Personal Crisis Spirals Into A Wider Meditation On Universal Questions About Being A Woman When You Re Too Busy Being A Mother Or A Sister Or A Wife To Consider Your Own Womanhood About How It Feels To Begin Life In A New Language About How Our Lives Are Changed By The People That Leave Them This Is A Heart Breaking, Hopeful And Profound Book That Will Get Under Your Skin Extraordinary As An Evocation Of Family Love, With All Its Sharpness, Pain And Need, Meatless Days Is Almost Faultless New Statesman

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Meatless Days book, this is one of the most wanted Sara Suleri author readers around the world.

[Reading] ➹ Meatless Days ➯ Sara Suleri –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 184 pages
  • Meatless Days
  • Sara Suleri
  • 10 July 2017

10 thoughts on “Meatless Days

  1. says:

    Here is a phrase that comes to mind when I think of Sara Suleri s Meatless days complete gibberish If that s not effective enough, here is another one absolute twaddle.I d try to convince you that the book wasn t really all that bad, but then I d just be straight out lying Never have I ever spent time questioning my own reading habits then when I was reading this endless text of drivel and pointlessness At one point I started reading it only at night before bedtime, so highly was it guaranteed to make me fall asleep It s non fiction, it s not meant to excite, I soothed my bored, frustrated soul, but even that wasn t consolation enough Suleri is writing about her family, about postcolonial Pakistan and the effects of migration on the wandering soul, and the only reason I know this is because I read the frankly incredibly misleading blurb Because nowhere in the book does anything actually make any sense Take, for example, exhibit A Sometimes, when I feel burdened by this baldest prose I lived too long with the man of the hairless head tyrannized by the structure of a simple sentence, it does me good to recollect how quietly my mother measured out her dealings with impossible edges.Um, what the what now The insufferable part of this inexplicable prose is that the WHOLE DAMN BOOK is like this Literally just sentences composed of words strung together to mean god knows what Some parts make sudden, startling sense so that you are deluded into thinking AHA, i DO know the english language, I can do this But then Suleri gets worried Did she drop her metaphorical, allegorical, and utterly incomprehensible rambling for than two sentences Abort text Revert to pretentiousness Interestingly enough, it is precisely this ostentatious writing that the blurb tries to sell Even besides the writing, there are nine randomly placed chapters of absolutely no order or arrangement in this book And what I want to know is, what was the editor thinking Or to the point, who was the editor of this unbelievably dreary piece of writing So many questions I have after reading this book, none of which I really care to find the answers to, because the best way to deal with this book is to consciously remove it from your memory and pretend you didn t actually read it, for fear of regret for all those wasted hours And if you think I m being too harsh, consider exhibit B In our early years, those most intensely talkable, Dale and I so savoured the taste of articulating ourselves in each other s presence that we rarely conversed outside the splendid way life unfolds itself to its most prized audience.Now what is that saying What does that even mean The only possible responses to this book are yawning, rereading of a single line of the text multiple times, or an urgent desire to fling the book through an open window as far away from you as you can The only times my eyes opened was when Suleri would mention a famous political figure, someone whom the bored recesses of my mind would recognize and struggle to latch onto in a desperate bid to stay awake, but sadly even those moments were few and far between Even though the author s father was Ziauddin Ahmed Suleri 1913 1999 , a prominent political journalist in the subcontinent as well as activist of the Pakistan movement, the book manages to stay very, very boring And I m so very bored of it that I m going to stop talking about it now, and hope to never have to relive these days again.RecommendationUnless you are particularly interested in pointless tosh, don t I review Pakistani Fiction, and talk about Pakistani fiction, and want to talk to people who like to talk about fiction Pakistani and otherwise, take your pick To read reviews or just contact me so you can talk about books, check out my Blog or follow me on Twitter

  2. says:

    Reading South Asian authors who write in English is a necessarily painful experience because both you and they know the audience being addressed And that affects content and message, leaving you depressed and hopeless beyond belief This is the only South Asian author I ve ever read with the exception of Arundhati Roy who doesn t do that If this book wasn t so damn hard to find, I d hand out copies of it to everyone I know.

  3. says:

    Suleri twists the English language in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways perhaps this is linked to her bilingualism, as she mentioned in one of her stories, her bilingualism, especially in languages are distinct as Urdu and English, has caused a kind of intellectual schizophrenia unable to express herself clearly in either language, her literature coalesces the idioms and idiosyncrasies of both to create a rich and vibrant style which reverberates with poetry of Urdu and flexibility of English both Urdu and English are, after all, bastard languages and mixtures of various, often completely different languages Meatless Days is a biographical portrait of Suleri s family her politically minded and liberal father and her Welsh mother as well as her siblings and grandmother Beneath all of this is a sense of grief grief at the untimely death of her mother and sister, grief at the barriers which separate her form her siblings, grief the the slow descent of Pakistan into military and increasingly intolerant dictatorship, grief at existing in two worlds, both East and West, within which she not entirely comfortable and does not fit in Yet beneath all of this is an understanding and tolerance of human frailties and idiosyncrasies I like to imagine that there is space for improvident angels, the ones who wish to get away from too much light There, a company of Ifat Ilie, arms across their foreheads, such an intensely familiar thought that it brings tears of delight to the grave eyes of god Yet beneath this darkness shines the light of human relationships Of Sara s with her bellicose grandmother, of Sara s parents, separate by differing cultures but brought together by an intense emotional connection, of her childhood closeness with her younger brother before a wall of aloofness separates them Entwined within Sara s sadness is on the loss of these connections and relationships and of the ability of art to, however superficially, recapture these, the recapture the colours and cadences of the people who pass through our lives and enrich them, or even of the silent contemplation of Lahore, with it s vibrancy and noises from above I who loved the jut of his lower lip was quite content to be up there in silence, sweating in an illicit sky, and watching my friend T.K formulate and reformulate sentences I knew he would never say Down on the ground there was too much chatter anyway, so it established a poignancy of comradeship between us, all that machinery and silence.What puzzled her was the city s habit of behaving like a mirage, it s Cheshire Cat s ability to disappear Indeed it is Suleri s ability to interweave the mirage like images within her narrative, to bring out the idiosyncrasies of her characters, to construct her weird sentences which lends strength to her novel and imbues it with vitality and verve.

  4. says:

    Did Not Finish40% completed Well simply put, I can t take much of the author s pretentious ramblings at present and I have decided not to waste another minute to it..I have better books to read

  5. says:

    When I teach topics in third world literature, much time is lost in trying to explain that the third world is locatable only as a discourse of convenience Trying to find it is like pretending that history or home is real and not located precisely where you are sitting, I hear my voice quite idiotically say You might want to spend a few minutes reading and reading this statement, and then trying to unpack or decode what Suleri is trying to say If you aren t interested in working hard for meaning, you probably shouldn t even bother reading this book It s not about the length because it is not even 200 pages long, but it took me weeks of careful reading to conquer it Yes, the verb conquer feels like the right word this book is definitely a challenge In Kamila Shamsie s Introduction, she warns that the sentences in Meatless Days are always intelligent, always elegant, sometimes baffling, and having finally finished this most unusual of memoirs, I would definitely agree I was often pleased by Suleri s writing, but it is almost never easy to figure out what she is talking about Her narrative line is rarely straightforward, and she has a tendency to bend and distort metaphors to the point of obscurity, confusion and even meaninglessness I assume they mean something to her, but her analogies will be lost on the average reader If she has written a twisty memoir, notable for its obfuscation, perhaps it is because Suleri does not find identity or culture or home an easy thing to define Child of a Welsh mother and a Pakistani father, Suleri was born into a house divided by languages and culture Her father was a prominent journalist, whose life s work was defining and helping to bring into being the Islamic Pakistan that was created in 1947 Her mother, meanwhile, was teaching writers like Jane Austen at the university in Lahore Her paternal grandmother Dadi was a native of India, a speaker of Urdu and not the Punjabi tongue which predominated in Lahore As a further complication, Suleri is writing her memoir from several degrees of displacement as a resident of New Haven, Connecticut, and as someone who has lost several of the important women grandmother, mother, sister who helped define home for her Although my own cultural dislocations are not nearly as intense as Suleri s, I did read this book mostly as I was visiting my native home of Texas I have lived in England for many years, and can entirely understand the feeling of belonging to neither place but somehow being permanently displaced I can also very much relate to the grief and feelings of loss which permeate the book It s a memoir told in a series of character sketches, and as Suleri gets to the end or accurately the core those being the chapters relating to her sister Ifat and her mother she builds an emotional momentum that had me finally connecting with her writing I never could completely decide, though, if the book was beautiful or entirely too inpenetrable Most reviews seem to be either 5 stars or 1 but I am settling for the ambivalence of 3 stars.Note I read the recently released Penguin paperback which is part of the Women Writers series Thanks for very much to Penguin Books for this book.

  6. says:

    Books that are reread are mostly far and few in between and when that happens often, you must rejoice Meatless Days by Sara Suleri is one such book I remember reading it for the first time, a couple of years ago and loving it It was unlike something I had ever read A memoir that was so irreverent and profound at the same time Well, it was refreshing to hear someone write like that, as though Sara was in my living room having a conversation with me about herself and her family Meatless Days is a book that perhaps cannot be even bracketed into a genre and yet for all practical purposes, we must The complexity and intricacy of both her language and the content of the book astounds the reader, makes you laugh and sometimes make you introspect The book is about Pakistan, postcolonial, post independence and a world that treats its women way differently than its men It is about Suleri s Welsh mother, her Pakistani father, her tenacious grandmother and her five siblings She writes about the wandering soul with such soul that you can only empathize Her journey out of Pakistan, the gaze of an outsider and yet strangely an insider is a universal emotion that perhaps every reader can relate with At the same time, for some it might prove to be a difficult read as the nine chapters are completely disjointed and string together beautifully through Suleri s distillation of experiences of love, loss and family, and takes form in powerful poetry like prose Meatless Days changes with every chapter the form does, the writing to some extent and so will your emotions as you turn the pages Suleri s prose is unique, may rarely come across as too complex but that s only because she has so much to say and yet so liberating and rewarding at the end of it all A lost classic for sure, which I am glad has been revived as a part of Penguin Women Writers initiative.

  7. says:

    Did not finish This was such a struggle as the language is bizarre to say the least I read so many passages over and over again to try to make sense of them but to no avail It s as if it s been written with a thesaurus, or as if the writer has invented new meanings for words with no thought to how her reader is supposed to understand what she s trying to say Littered with incoherent metaphors in such a way that reeks of pretentious I ve not been this stumped by a book in a long time It s a shame because it promised so much from the blurb and the first chapter essay, and this is a topic I long to read about.

  8. says:

    For the right reader, this memoir really, a collection of loosely linked essays could be a delight, but I m not that reader Suleri s chapters are meandering ruminations on her relatives, their diaspora from Pakistan, their domestic successes and tragedies I d seen the book recommended as a perceptive and touching account, from the perspective of a woman, of growing up in Pakistan in the 1960s and 1970s Some images and turns of phrase are surprising and lovely Unfortunately, Suleri s baroque writing style is uneven Here s an example, selected nearly at random In our early years, those most intensely talkable, Dale and I so savored the taste of articulating ourselves in each other s presence that we rarely conversed outside the splendid way a life unfolds itself to its most prized audience Now, however, we are discreet our landscapes are worn, full of old and nubbly mountains, less interested in the great continental shift that hefted us into being in the first place than in the ordinary accident of things, the lope of a passing camel or the strut of a goat Today, we rarely gingerly talk about ourselves p.46 The layering of complicated conceits is typical Some are opaque What is the splendid way life unfolds itself Does she merely mean they talked about themselves, which she s already said The most interesting detail, that now they only speak of themselves gingerly , is reduced to a cryptic single word in the last sentence The transition from the metaphorical to the concrete from landscapes to livestock isn t obvious, increasing the potential for confusion until you realize that she means an actual camel walking by And do they really talk about how animals walk Throughout the book, Suleri opts for multisyllabic Latinate words where short, punchy words would serve better In some chapters though not this one , she drops in the phrase of course when she is about to confide a fact that no one outside of her immediate family could possibly know This usage excludes the reader it s like trying to have a conversation with someone who keeps speaking to themselves instead of you, and wants to make sure you know they re doing it intentionally At some point I may circle back to read of this memoir, for the pleasure of the occasional striking passages, but probably not for a while.

  9. says:

    Throughout Sara Suleri s Meatless Days food functions as the connective tissue that binds together, in one very animated and determinedly introspective corpus, multiple layers of politics, culture, identity, gender, emotions and spirituality Suleri s idiomatic commingling of foodstuffs and physical bodies lays out a rich, multi textured, somatic discourse that not only examines the embodied experience of its narrator, but also that of women, particularly those whose bodies are thought to exist in the third world This fusion of flesh and food works to serve up a proof that personal history, cultural circumstances and subjective reality are inextricably intertwined and that to deny this would be tantamount to refusing the nourishment required to sustain life itself.

  10. says:

    I really wanted to enjoy this book, to an extent that you can enjoy a searing memoir But ohmygod is it hard to read I was so relieved to find other one star reviewers who complained about the exact same problem The sentences are long and convoluted, the story jumps around all the time and it feels like the author really wanted to show just how many complicated words she knows in English There s elegance in precise wording but this book was not it it felt unnecessarily pretentious Too bad because the subject of the book sounds really compelling Couldn t get past the first two chapters.

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