Friday, Oct 07, 2022
Outlook.com
review

Branching Out

Sometimes having a set of developed characters is not enough; it is necessary for them to do something to or with each other

Branching Out
Branching Out
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Shrinivas Moorthy, history professor in a college in Bangalore, inveterate misser of opportunities, cautious radical turned stodgy conservative and the protagonist of Usha’s new novel, Monkey-Man, feels that history can be illuminated by cinema and fiction. “It was so important to put a human face to every movement, every event, even an idea.” And it appears that the primary purpose of this work of fiction is to provide human faces for the movement of Bangalore’s and, consequently, India’s history.

Monkey-Man’s own movement is a series of extended flashbacks that outline the life histories of its main characters, occasionally digressing further into the stories of subsidiary characters. While this method makes for loose storytelling, it does produce a sensitively rendered and beautifully detailed portrait of a set of lives, a deeply felt slice of ethnography. But be warned: the attempts to build a tight narrative are cursory. The eponymous monkey-man could have helped turn some pages. Unfortunately, he is given less than five per cent of this book’s space.

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.