After a warm, adventure filled summer we are back with the Fall session of The Scarsdale Salon. Join us on Thursday 12 at 7.30 p.m. at the Scarsdale Library for an evening of books, music, wine, conversations and more!

 

We will be journeying through Brazil, the Indian sub-continent, Germany, Korea, the United States and more  in our selection of books this time.

First, we are super delighted that the co-host of the Salon, Ines Rodrigues will present her debut novel Days of Bossa Nova at the Salon.

In the Days of Bossa Nova, Felipe Navarra rises from poverty to conquer Sao Paulo, Brazil, the city he loves. He becomes a radio celebrity in the age of Bossa Nova, classic sambas, and radionovelas. On his way to fame and fortune, he falls into a heartbreaking love triangle with his childhood sweetheart and sells his soul to the dark dictatorship that took over Brazil from 1964 to 1985. His rise runs parallel with the city’s decent into crime, where the gap between rich and poor gets dangerously wide and no one is really safe..

Then River of Flesh and other stories, an anthology edited by Ruchira Gupta brings together twenty-one stories about trafficked and prostituted women by some of India and Pakistan’s most celebrated writers. From Jugnu, in Kamleshwar’s ‘River of Flesh’ (‘Maas ka Darya’)who stares at a lifetime of servitude as age and disease take hold to Ismat Chughtai’s  unforgettable character of young Lajo in ‘The Housewife’, who must conform to society’s idea of decency, or risk being branded a whore, the anthology offers a harsh indictment of this practice of human slavery, too often justified—and occasionally glorified—as the ‘world’s oldest profession’.

We move to Germany with Iris Dobian’s An Epiphany in Lilacs. After liberation in May 1945, Daniel, a 14-year-old Latvian Jew, is treated in a field hospital in the British zone of partitioned Germany. A survivor of various concentration camps, Daniel fights to recover from starvation and disease. Through his love of nature and pre-war memories, Daniel struggles to find comfort. He forms an intriguing bond with an older German gentile, another survivor. Later on, as he joins a theater troupe, Daniel tries to move on with his life yet still searching for the whereabouts of his mother and two sisters.

The story is loosely based on the personal experiences of the authors’ father.

Then we visit the pre and post-partition Punjab in the Indian sub-continent with Manreet Someshwar’s The Long Walk Home.

Seventy-one-year-old Baksh wakes up in pain one night and ventures out in search of a doctor. In the time it takes him to reach a hospital, his heart irretrievably damaged, he travels down memory lane, reliving his life lived in the border town of Ferozepur, Punjab – from pre-Partition India, to the holocaust that accompanied independence, the Indo-Pak wars, the Green Revolution and the rise of religious extremism.

Redolent of the soil and spirit of Punjab, The Long Walk Home is as much one man’s odyssey through tumultuous times as it is an elegiac meditation on the passing of a way of life, on faith and fundamentalism and misguided passions.

Finally, we move between the United States and Korea with Jimin Han’s A Small Revolution. On a beautiful Pennsylvania fall morning, a gunman holds college freshman Yoona Lee and three of her classmates hostage in the claustrophobic confines of their dorm room. The desperate man with his finger on the trigger—Yoona’s onetime friend, Lloyd Kang—is unraveling after a mysterious accident in Korea killed his closest friend, Jaesung, who was also the love of Yoona’s life.

Through scenes of political upheaval and protests in South Korea, spirited conversations in cramped dumpling houses, and the quiet moments that happen when two people fall in love, A Small Revolution is a moving narrative brimming with longing, love, fear, and—ultimately—hope.

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