Literature will always reign no matter what one says. Sometimes also, all passion is madness. When this passion then merges with the literary, the combination is not only heady but also fascinating. This takes place in Rukmini Bhaya Nairs book, Mad Girls Love Song. The book starts off rather strangely and the reader is left wondering what is happening, however read some more and you are pulled right into it.
Mad Girls Love Song almost seems like an ode to the authors favourites D.H. Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, and William Blake. Pari (the girl and protagonist) is at the centre of the novel, who is paranoid and schizophrenic and almost has conversations with these greats and dreams of them. Their lives then are merged beautifully in this brilliant construct of prose, which is almost poetic.
What engages the reader is that the book is not just about this it is beyond and more. It explores the psyche of these authors and poets and the life of a common girl who again is not that common. As a reader, you would love the literary references and the randomness of the book. Mad Girls Love Song is a delicious read the kind which needs to be savoured over time. The kind that cannot be rushed into. A great read, nonetheless.
What happens when cultures collide? When poets and angels clash? Driven by voices in her head and visions of angel-hood, Pari is the heroine of this extraordinary novel. Part detective story, part literary history and part romance, this is the tale of a paranoid schizophrenic child-woman who is seduced like many others by a language and culture not ours. Rukmini Bhaya Nair skillfully weaves together the lives of Pari, Sylvia Plath, William Blake and D. H. Lawrence to create a carefully layered story that flashes between past, present and future, held together by a thread of love, longing and the treasures of literature.
About the Author:
Rukmini Bhaya Nair is Professor of Linguistics and English at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. She has been the recipient of many awards and authored several academic books. She has also published three volumes of poetry and her poems have been widely anthologized and translated into languages such as Chinese, Swedish, Italian and Macedonian.