Sunday, June 17, 2012

Desi Book Club - #1

I wanted to join the new Oak Park chapter of the Desi Book Club but just didn't have the time to read the book. But then I hung out with MAM at her place and it was book club time so I got to join in - even though I had not read "The Palace of Illusions" by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

At the start of the meeting, everyone went around and introduced themselves. Of the nine women, there were 2 medical doctors, 2 psychologists, 2 PhDs, a receptionist, and me (admissions and marketing director). Clearly, I was in good company should I collapse or go crazy.

In addition to being incredibly smart and accomplished, these ladies had beautiful, melodic names: 
Dipika, Shakuntala, Gauri, Surinder, and Bashanti.

I could have stayed and listened to the stories about their lives and careers and volunteer work all evening but we were there to discuss "The Palace of Illusions." It sounds like a fascinating book told from a unique perspective - that of Panchaali, married to 5 royal husbands who were cheated out of their father's kingdom. The story takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical, giving new voice to the epic Mahabharata. Epics are often told from the voice or viewpoint of men. Divakaruni's book is interesting because it is from the female viewpoint.

Now I have the book and the time so I plan to read this fascinating story and see for myself what these women were raving about.


Heather Kay said...

Definitely let us know what you think!

felicity said...

I've read some of her poems and short stories - loved them! Gorgeous imagery and an introduction to a beautiful but flawed world.