Authors, Interviews

Author Interview: DAN BURI

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The man himself: Dan Buri

THE WRITING PART

Q. Hi Dan and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

First off, let me say thank you for hosting me on your site, Aman. You have a wonderful blog! This is a great place for us all to indulge in our shared love of reading and writing. Thank you for your excellent content. I am grateful to be here and hopefully I have the opportunity to get to know your audience better.

I grew up in the Midwest in the States with four brothers and one sister. I moved out to the beautiful Pacific Northwest a little over ten years ago. I am a patent attorney with an engineering background, which is what I spend my days doing when I am not writing. I have a beautiful wife and amazing two-year-old daughter who cracks me up daily.

Q. When did you decide that you want to be a writer?

I can remember writing as far back as middle school. It’s something I have always enjoyed doing. You say in your About section that reading is like oxygen for you. I guess writing is like that for me. Writing has been something I have always enjoyed doing myself and admired in other people. Story telling is a beautiful gift. I love learning to hone the craft.  Continue reading “Author Interview: DAN BURI”

Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg’s THE ISLE OF YOUTH is a collection of seven engaging short stories exploring the lives of women mired in secrecy and deception. Each tale is spun with urgency, and the reader grows attached to the marginalized young women in these stories. I have already confessed a few times that I do not read much short stories collection, but reading this one has affected my view regarding the short stories.

Brilliantly written, dark, unsettling stories with original voice, every narrator/protagonist dealing with their own loneliness in a way we all want to deal with. The best story I feel this collection conveyed me is entitled ‘Antarctica’  based on the Antarctic Peninsula, where a woman with holding others secrets, adrift by the lives of her closed ones, Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg”

Books, Fiction, Reviews

Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams and Other Prose Writings by Sylvia Plath

Being endured by an obsession with Sylvia Plath, I had waited too long to get my hands on this book. This is book is interesting for a multitude of reasons. The main reason being it’s Sylvia Plath’s proses, not poems. Previously, I had read The Bell Jar and her Journals, and certainly I was more fascinated by her journals rather her only novel.

This collection of her proses, short stories and a few pieces from Cambridge notes which were sad but also enthralling, written in time and some published here and there while others not, starts with a Ted Hughes introduction. Continue reading “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams and Other Prose Writings by Sylvia Plath”

Books, Essay

PULP FICTION, Anyone?

No, I am not talking about Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction here. But what is Pulp Fiction anyway? The real pulp fiction goes back to the magazines that used cheaper pulp paper in order to sell in great volume to a voracious reading public. These magazines had their heyday in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s.

It was fiction for the people, for the guy on the crowded subway going to work, or the busy mother with five kids who got a little reading time at night. It was for the people who wanted to be caught up in a fictive dream. It was not written in a style aimed at some elite literati. Continue reading “PULP FICTION, Anyone?”

Books

SURPRISE FROM HTBRUNCH: UNNATURAL CREATURES BY NEIL GAIMAN

SURPRISE FROM HTBRUNCH: UNNATURAL CREATURES BY NEIL GAIMAN

Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman

Thanks to HTBrunch for motivating me to read more, by gifting this book. It’s great to be a part of#BrunchBookChallange (which I posted about, two posts back).

Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: UNACCUSTOMED EARTH BY JHUMPA LAHIRI

I must say I do not enjoy reading short stories. Especially, a collection of short stories, otherwise if they are properly dramatic and structured, I would read only one or two stories from it. Rarely do I finish a whole book of short stories and this time I did. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri is the collection of eight stories which proves that she indeed is a better writer than the other Indian Authors I have read in my lifetime. She understands the experience she wants a reader to enjoy while reading her words. Her writing style is very natural and effortless and the way she care about each and every character she makes is one thing to be learn from her writing. A reader without much effort can indulge him/her-self into the imaginary world she weaves with her words and the experience in that neverland will be unforgettable.

My favorite story from the book is Year’s End which in itself is a part of trilogy of three short stories. You can also say they make a novella. But that’s not for me to decide. Year’s End is a first person narrative and the second part in the trio. All three stories revolve around two characters: Hema and Kaushik. The essence of this particular story, Year’s End, The emotional touch Lahiri has given in the story. On reading, some might find the story a bit too emotional but I say that a bit too emotions are necessary to continue the story forward, thus a big part of the plot. It is good to read emotional stories sometimes, only if they are properly written as Lahiri has done. This story in which Kaushik tells his part of the story. The way he and his father’s awkward relationship is portrayed  as after one incident is the way of showing how can vulnerable and sensitive is human life. One whole incident can make the surrounding change so fast and you’ll end up fighting a paradoxical war with yourself.

It is still one of the best collections of short stories I have read. Lahiri credits William Trevor with being one of her inspiration. This is quality stuff. It is a book you will keep on your shelves and return to time and time again.

Books

CURRENTLY READING

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Books

NEW BUYS- HOLIDAYS SPECIAL

KIM BY RUDYARD KIPLING
THE NAMESAKE BY JHUMPA LAHIRI
AN UNACCUSTOMED EARTH BY JHUMPA LAHIRI

Books, MyWorks

WORLD OF FICTION

Books are written because an author wants to write and a reader wants to read. Fiction is a most read form of writing and it is the kind of writing that is not factual.

In the world of fiction, I am going to concentrate on four aspects of fiction: Flash Fiction, Short StoryNovella, and Micro Fiction.

Flash Fiction is small. They are short, short stories. Generally consists of 500 to 750 words. Well, if you think writing that many words is easy for you, think again. If you still think it is easy for you, well try to the limit. In my research a Flash Fiction does not exceed 1,000 words.

Short Story which is something between a Flash Fiction and a Novella. I love reading short stories. They give me enough to really satisfy my curiosity about the character and plot, bringing the story to a dynamic conclusion—all without leaving my chair once. That’s the hallmark of a short story. You should be able to read it in one sitting.

Normally, a short story range from 1,000 to 10,000 words but the genre also has a big part in it.

Novella. Five years back if you would ask me what a Novella is, I might have not known. And I have never written one. The length gives you room for more characters and more story. It pulls up short of a novel, making it the perfect size for avid readers with a short attention span.

Some writers want to call their 50,000 or 60,000 word manuscripts a novel. The culprit of this is probably National Novel Writing Month. It challenges you to write a novel in a month. The goal is 50,000 words. But if you ask a publishing company they would underline the words that  minimum is usually 80,000 words and can go as high as 240,000. But then we have the genre thing again.

Micro Fiction. It is tiny. Generally about the length of a Tweet or maybe a little longer than that.

Hopefully, my explanation of the specific terms was informative.

MyWorks

THE YELLOW HOUSE

THE YELLOW HOUSE: an appreciation for an art
by Aman Mittal

STANDING beside the only lamppost on the corner of the street, I took a glance over with big Yellow House. It was as yellow as it could be but the surface looked as smooth as butter. Made in Victorian fashion, it was obvious the roof top would be either crimson red or dull red in colour but this one was crimson red. The windows were quite French, painted in green as was the interior. How could one see the interior, well the windows were always open at this time of the day. But I could never see any movement up there. Not a single soul. Neighboring that house, designed and structured in the similar fashion was another yellow house. The two only differ in their interior colours. This other one was lavenderish pink from inside. And there was a shop of some kind which I am not able to recall of what it was. If one look far, straight, where he would be dwelling currently, he would see a bridge on which a steam would pass exactly at noon. It was 11:58 a.m. by my watch so I had to wait for two more minutes to see elegant body. Though two minutes were still to be traveled, I could hear the distorting and disturbing sound of the engine and the general noise of the blowing horn. The steam would pass by as a black beauty would. There was some elegance in its blackness too, blowing out the contrasting white smoke. The smoke which came out gaps and one could see the blue sky in between the chunks and that blue sky would make those chunks of smoke appear as some white-gray clouds. There was some smoke in front of the yellow house too. An old man in his gray communist hat was puffing off his cigarette. His cigarette would never went off as his age would be someday. But if one concentrates on his face, it resembled a handsome man in past but now left with poverty, drip and dry skin, face swallowed by pain and his cigarette. As the soigne steam would continue to pass one can see to women coming in one’s direction and is able to judge they had been married quite along time. Carrying a basket each, one or the other, and talking gibberish. Maybe they are insulting each other’s husbands, but they would be bored by now. Or maybe they are just gossiping about one thing or the other. The sky is so blue that it makes want to follow it till I find a dark cloud but if the sky is this endlessly blue, I think I’ll never find a cloud.

The blue sky, the soigne steam, the French windows , the yellow house, whole image is so picturesque. It is captured in my mind so boldly that it would appear every morning I wake up and would tempt me to go out and have a look of this yellow house. But I wish I could, if it was real.