by Christopher Mudiappahpillai

Just thought I’d let all you folks know that Lynn Lynne Truss (of Eats, Shoots & Leaves fame) has a new book out: Talk to the Hand. The subtitle is, “The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door” and I’m liking it so far:

Check your own elbow skin. If it snaps back into position after bending, you probably should not be reading this book. If on the other hand, it just sits there in a puckered fashion, a bit rough and belligerent, then you can probably also name about twenty things, right now, off the top of your head, that drive you nuts: people who chat in the cinema; young people sauntering four-abreast on the pavement; waiters who say, “There you go” as they place your bowl of soup on the table; people not even attempting to lower their voices when they us the “Eff” word.

Speaking of books, I was talking to my prof about the Lahiri book I mentioned recently, and she agrees with my assesment – it’s really not prize-worthy. So there.

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting read. Ask me if you’d like to borrow it. Or either of the Truss books, for that matter.

And here’s a little music from Melbourne. Listen to this album if you can.

Architecture in Helsinki
From the album, In Case We Die

Choking on a wishbone,
In the firing line of lovers,
Who will never slow down.

And I won’t let you steer,
Comandere the atmosphere,
Since you suggested running away,
It’s romantic.

Hit the redial,
Maybe we can sigh a while,
Save our second wind for sentimental warm weather.

Four forever,
Two together,
We’ll play dead,
We’ll play dead.

Should we make believe you remember me
From a holiday delayed by a storm?
Should we chance our arms alarms
To set high noon until the shiver in the river is gone?

Hoping you might whistle,
Get all dizzy ’cause I found the reason why you’re around,
If I won’t stay sincere talk you through the tangles.

Can you chase me till you my feet touch the ground,
And go dancing,
Tambourin style walking in a single file,
You whisper half thoughts to me.

Still too much work for this here student.

Pip, pip and cheerio and all that. Hope everyone’s well.



  1. December 5, 2005

    YES, I’d like to borrow Truss’s new book. I LOVED “Eats, Shoots…”.

    By the way, remember that red-headed girl who said her name was “Anne – with an ‘e'”? Well, LynnE says the same kind of thing.

    Why don’t your posts show the posted date anymore?


  2. December 5, 2005

    Well then, I guess it’s a good thing that Lynne – with an ‘e’ – doesn’t visit this blog. But, considering how often my name gets butchered, I think I’m allowed the odd misspelling.

    Or maybe, if Ms. Truss chanced upon this post, she would decide to write a new book! About spelling! And, she could call it “That’s Lynne with an ‘e’!”

    As for the date… I commented it out while playing around with the layout. Fixed, along with the spelling.


  3. December 15, 2005

    I hope that you were not offended by my previous question as to how you arrived at the conclusion that Lahiri was not deserving of the Pulitzer. It was not any sort of attack on your judgment but merely a question that arose out of curiousity. So I hope that you did not view my comment in a negative manner.
    My husband and I had a discussion some time back in regards to Lahiri’s first book. And he too shared your opinion. He felt that her stories were not vibrant enough and that the themes of the individual stories were very similar to one another and that she did not capture the lives of Indian-Americans accurately. I actually enjoyed the stories and walked away of the opinion that she was a good storyteller and had a fresh tale to tell. Though she did not cover all walks of the Indian immigrant’s experience in America, she certainly captured a lot of aspects of Indian-American life and certainly gave a literary voice to Indian-Americans in the U.S. So I was curious as to how you arrived at your assessment as well. What are the specific standards for receiving the Pulitzer? Does it have to be an arty novel? Or will they select a book based on how well it depicts the story of American life? Though I have a general idea of what the Pulitzer Prize is all about, I had some questions about it as well. So I went ahead and looked it up…here is an excerpt from a site that I came across:
    …That was a particularly difficult connection to make with the Pulitzer books because they are, for the most part, related to each other primarily by their excellence as “fiction dealing with American life.” Each book in this series therefore relates to some of the others in more specific thematic ways, but arguably, at least, they are interrelated primarily by the main Pulitzer criteria of being important examinations/portrayals of American life.
    So I believe the standard would be whether Lahiri has done a well-enough and complete job of portraying [Indian-]American life (of course good prose is also a must).
    So once again, I am curious as to why you felt that she was not deserving of the Pulitzer. Did you feel that she did not do a good job of depicting a facet of American life, or was it her style of storytelling or prose that lead you to your opinion?
    P.S. Have you read Rohinton Mistry yet? He is a writer (of Indian origin) based in Canada. If you have not read any of his books, I have a feeling that you will enjoy them.

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