Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Circle of Light, An Autobiography by Kiranjit Ahluwalia

The first book I read after finishing my thesis was one I borrowed from my landlord called Circle of Light- the autobiography of Kiranjit Ahluwalia. After writing my thesis on domestic violence in Afghanistan, this was a great follow-up to the subject- this one dealing with domestic violence within the Indian culture (of Kiranjit, an Indian woman living in the UK).

Kiran describes the story of her life- how she met her husband and moved with him to the UK from India. From the very first night of their marriage he was abusive towards her and she felt she had to deal with it because it was her honor as his wife. Basically she blames Indian culture's portrayal of how a woman should act in life and marraige as the reason she could not escape her abusive husband. She kills her husband accidentally by burning down their house and is charged with murder. The book continues with her story of life in prison and then the campaign began by the Southall Black Sisters to free her.

I liked the book a lot; it was a very easy read. The descriptions were great- especially the descriptions of prison and the comraderie of the women in prison. It took a few weeks to read (I read it somewhat distractedly, getting back into the swing of reading for pleasure as was). Definitely recommended reading by myself for anyone interested in feminism and struggles against domestic violence and cultures that ignore domestic violence as a rights violation.
3.2/ 4 stars.

Book reviews...

I finished my thesis for my MA at the end of August and ever since have been getting back to something I love more than anything else in the world: reading for pleasure. While researching for my thesis, I read tons, but the reading had a purpose and though the material I read was pleasurable, I had to use the information and it was not just for my own pleasure. So as I've finished my thesis (on domestic violence as a women's rights issue in Afghanistan), I have read some books (fiction and non) which I will review in the next few entries. I'm sure these first few reviews will not be very amazing or enlightening, but as this blog is mostly for my own pleasure, I don't really care:) By the way, if anyone is reading this and would like to read my thesis, by all means email me:)

Question for Entry 1: Why?

Why am I creating a new blog when I wrote a total of about 5 entries in the last one (over the course of a year)?

Because, my friends I need a new creative outlet, but under a different theme/ mode of thought than the last one (which was based strictly on my newfound life in London, a city which I have grown accustomed to and no longer find very surprising or awe-inspiring; I mean that in a good way:)

This blog may be only for my own benefit but I feel it's something I need right now as my graduate education has come to a close. I need a place in the virtual world dedicated to my continuing education. Therefore, this blog will include, but will in no way be limited to: book reviews, article reviews, website links, movie reviews, comments on political events, general new things I've learned, books I want to read, etc etc. I may also write about my continuing job search.