This week we feature the current favorites and obsessions of Prajwal Parajuly, the author of The Gurkha’s Daughter, a collection of short stories. (Read one of the stories in this excerpt on The Aerogram.) He is the son of an Indian father and a Nepalese mother. He divides his time between New York and Oxford, England, but disappears to Gangtok — his hometown in the Indian Himalayas — at every opportunity. He draws inspiration for his writing from the many places he has traveled and lived. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Guardian, the BBC and the New Statesman. His novel, Land Where I Flee, will be published in North America in 2015.
1. Bipul Chettri’s “Wildfire” — Sketches of Darjeeling
I am not crazy about music. I am the guy who goes to a coffee shop and asks for the music to be turned off. But this Nepali album — you don’t need to understand the language to appreciate the musical arrangement — has floored me. It’s beautiful.
2. A Daughter’s Memoir of Burma by Wendy Law-Yone
Everything I know about Burma, I know from Wendy Law-Yone’s brilliant books. A Daughter’s Memoir of Burma, her most recent book, has just been published by Columbia University Press. I started reading it yesterday and finished reading it last night — it’s one hell of a memoir. I have just ordered The Road to Wanting and The Coffin Tree, Law-Yone’s earlier books.
3. Marriage, the card game
It’s September, which means the Hindu Nepali festival of Dashain is around the corner. To my family, Dashain is an excuse to gamble all night long. My family is obsessed with this ridiculous 21-card, three-deck game called Marriage. The minute I land in London after my American book tour is over, my family and I will do nothing but play Marriage.
4. Brick Lane
Brick Lane, one of my favorite New York restaurants, recently relocated half a block from its flagship East Village location. I am looking forward to attending its opening-night party. I can’t stand bad Indian food. Brick Lane is the one Indian restaurant on 6th Street — Angon was another — that has never disappointed me.
5. Land Where I Flee
I am re-reading this new novel (out in America in May 2015) by Prajwal Parajuly. I receive several blurb requests, and if I could blurb this one, I’d call it the best book ever written. I hear the writer is a little bit of a prick, though.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the South Asian cover of LAND WHERE I FLEE. International cover coming soon. pic.twitter.com/s5YZgQRKMR
— prajwalparajuly (@prajwalparajuly) October 10, 2013