Remember how I said the release of Shahid's Collected Poems was the best news I'd had all year? Well, thrilled as I am about that, there is one other publishing event that I'm even more excited about. That's the release of études, a collection of short fiction by my dear friend and occassional alter ego Aseem Kaul, now available - either in bookstores or online - to those of you in India. A book, needless to say, I strongly urge you to go buy (or at least find in your local book store and read the back cover of).
Not that études is a great book or anything. There are days when I'm not even sure it's a good book. But it's different and fun and bizzarely imaginative and there are so many different pieces in it that you're bound to like something. Plus if you're sitting around reading this blog you're not exactly spoiled for choice are you?
As a matter of fact, regular readers of this blog may find significant similarities between the writing on this blog and the work in études. It may even, at times, be hard to tell the two apart. This is not, however, reason to type 2,569 indignant blog posts and put them up on DesiPundit. The writing seems similar not because Mr. Kaul has been stealing my work (nor because I've been stealing his - how dare you even suggest such a thing!), but because the two of us think so much alike that sometimes it's as though we have a single extremely demented mind between us.
What this overlap in styles does mean is that if you enjoy reading this blog you're almost certain to enjoy études, and should go out and buy it without a moment's further hesitation. Not only will you get a nicely bound collection of classic Falstaff-like pieces that you can pass on to your grandchildren, you'll also get to read 16 brand new (Never seen before! Untouched by hand!) stories that cover such diverse topics as deviant omelet recipes, kinky sex, a retelling of the Orpheus myth as a Fernando Meirelles short and the horrifying secret behind Facebook. Plus that way you can enjoy the blog / website that goes with the book with a clear conscience. And if enough of you buy the book it will restore light and hope to my world so that I won't kill myself out of sheer depression and may even go back to writing posts that are more than two sentences long .
Those of you who live outside India are, I'm afraid, going to have to wait before you can get your hands on the book - I'm told the book will eventually be available on Amazon, but I can't say when / if that will happen. I did manage to get hold of a few copies myself, but shall be distributing those to people who:
a) will sign off on my dissertation
b) will do my taxes
c) are sleeping with me
d) have slept with me
e) would sleep with me if they didn't have this rare, little-known medical condition
f) are liable to beat me up if I don't give them copies (hi MR!)
in that order.
The rest of you can either be good dutiful children and buy the book the next time you're in India, or watch this space for further information on availability, while hopefully whetting your appetite for the book by reading about it on the site.
 and with footnotes