The latest Tiger’s Choice, Naming Maya, by Uma Krishnaswami, is a response to the Books at Bedtime Reading Challenge that was extended to all readers of PaperTigers. Thanks to Marjorie for giving us all a chance to read our way through different countries and cultures–this challenge opens up a whole new reading adventure for those of us who choose to take it.
As Naming Maya unfolds, many of its readers are presented with a new country, new codes of behavior, new flavors, smells, and daily landscapes. The taste of “honey and chili powder” mingled on the tongue, milk delivered by bringing a cow to a doorstep and milking it in view of the person who is soon to drink it, listening to the call of a brain-fever bird, seeing a tree that is adorned with flowers, coins, and a statue of ” the plump, cheery elephant-headed god, Ganesha,” these things are all vividly described and give a glimpse of Chennai, India.
Or it does for me. How about you? As you read, do you see Maya’s new world, and experience her confusion? Do the differing values of her mother’s home country that frustrate this New Jersey girl become clear as the book progresses? And is memory a gift or a curse?
As the Tiger’s Bookshelf progresses on its own adventure of searching for readers who will take part in our online book group, the question persists of how do non-virtual, more conventional book groups solve the dilemma of having members take voice in their group discussions? If you belong to a book group that has found solutions to the silence, please let us know! How do you entice the shyest, least confident members to voice their opinions and express their thoughts?