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Fragments of Grace Paperback – 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Pamela Constable is an honest, articulate and engaging writer. I couldn't put her book down. I feel far more informed about South Asia and the strife we can only begin to TRY to imagine here in the U.S.
there are many decent writers around but a good writer is one which helps to articulate the reader's own feelings and perceptions even if that was not the intention in the first place.....so i was very moved and almost screamed out saying 'hey, this is me' when constable talked about her parents: 'even when we are in the same room, we remain worlds apart".......or when she confessed "seeing friends and mates they were never able to accept"......such paragraphs in this intensely personal memoir made me pause and think about my own parents and about my own life.......and ms constable was bang on target when she said that her parents still try to "improve the way i look and dress'......how does she know so much about me and my parents? how come she took my innermost perceptions and family secrets out of ME and translated them into words for HER book?
Each chapter in the book deals with her sojourn in some south asian country and ends with a deeply intimate interlude. reading the latter made me slightly uncomfortable, hesitant and anxious. it was like as if i had secretly tip-toed into somebody's attic one sleepy afternoon and was going through personal correspondence with half my alertness distracted towards the door from where that 'somebody' can enter anytime and catch me redhanded........at one point when constable wrote about a sudden in-your-face meeting with a long-lost journalist friend, once very intimate, in a crowded press conference, i felt embarrassed as if i was intruding into her privacy. indeed it makes for a very brave and kind person to write so gracefully about events so personal. thankyou pamela.
i may be sounding melodramatic but i loved the ending of this book. it was a gradual close. it was like a fading piano tune echoing from the stone walls long after the concert has ended and the audience has returned home....
finally if pamela constable happens to read this review, i want to tell her that many a times i have passed over that yamuna bridge on the banks of which lies a shanty where the elephants live. everytime i pass over that part of the city, i always instinctively look down under to wonder about those sad-looking elephants. i even made a guess after looking at some hoardings that it must be a muslim settlement. now after reading this book , whenever i will pass over that bridge again, i will know that delhi's total of 23 elephants camp there and that i know the name of at least one mahout who resides there - ghayar ali. constable should know that I too have noticed that place, that tiny fragment of grace.
really it is a book not to be borrowed and read but to be bought and read and re-read....