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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Fasting, Feasting - Anita Desai


Anita Desai has long proved herself one of the most accomplished and admired chroniclers of middle-class India.
Her 1999 novel, Fasting, Feasting, is the tale of plain and lumpish Uma and the cherished, late-born Arun, daughter and son of strict and conventional parents.
Throughout, Desai perfectly matches form and content: details are few, the focus narrow, emotions and needs given no place. Uma, as daughter and female, expects nothing; Arun, as son and male, is lost under the weight of expectation. Now in her 40s, Uma is at home. Attempts at arranged marriages having ended in humiliation and disaster, and she is at MamaPapa's beck and call, with only her collection of bracelets and old Christmas cards for consolation.
Arun, in college in Massachusetts, is none too happily spending the summer with the Pattons in the suburbs: their refrigerator and freezer is packed with meat that no one eats, and Mrs. Patton is desperate to be a vegetarian, like Arun. But what he most wants is to be ignored, invisible.

Comments
Saya suka sama Anita Desai. Saya pernah baca buku Kiran Desai (masih satu keluarga, kalau nggak salah mereka ibu-anak deh), tapi entah karena saya bacanya yang terjemahan, tapi ceritanya nggak banget, aneh, random abis, dan ga jelas arahnya.
Di Fasting, Feasting ini saya baca buku bahasa Inggrisnya. Bahasa inggrisnya rumit sih, saya harus banyak-banyak liat alfalink, tapi pas tau artinya, saya kagum karena ceritanya detail banget dan masuk akal. Alurnya masih random, tapi dengan cara yang masih mudah diikuti dan dimengerti. Saya jatuh cinta sama Anita Desai karena telah menyuguhkan cerita yang unik & dalam.
Karakternya juga kuat; Papa yang berwibawa, tegas, Mama yang selalu nurut apakata Papa tapi diam-diam kadang jadi pemberontak juga, Uma yang refers kedua orang tuanya sebagai PapaMama karena menganggap mereka itu satu, dan Arun, anak laki-laki yang ke Amerika.

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