Monday, April 27, 2009

\\\book shit: in hanuman's hands by cheeni rao

in "unaccustomed earth" jhumpa lahiri wrote a story about an alcoholic cornell student (ugh) and the relationship he has with his family. while many claim that the story, only goodness, nails the despair of a family who has to cope with alcoholic relatives it kind of ignores the alcoholic character himself. in fact, anything about him reads like one huge cliche on the hopeless romantic-type drunk. moreover, i read that shit and felt like the alcoholic didn't even have a problem. the kid was soft. i know some alcoholics. that dood was nothing special.

i wonder if lahiri's ever even met a real wilder. this dude was a REAL wilder:

i mean. the cover is a wind-up hanuman toy running around a table full of pills.

"Of Indian origin, Rao ingeniously draws on Hindu mythology as well as his encounters with racism in America to add two powerful dimensions to an otherwise ordinary autobiographical tale of a troubled kid who falls prey to drugs and crime."
"All this happens because a young Rao, hemmed in by his parents' stern Hindu values and his white American peers' refusal to accept him, predictably bursts. Fleeing the Chicago suburbs for an unnamed liberal arts college in New England, Rao becomes a user and then a dealer of marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, cocaine and heroin." - Sun Times
"Drug use/addiction/dealing is rarely ever due to such a simple answer as a desire to rebel or because our lives are “too perfect.” I address this in the book, but a short answer for you is that involvement in the drug world is often a symptom of deeper problems, whether they be confusion of identity, difficulties assimilating, problems coping with the diverse expectations of their parent’s culture vs american culture, etc. I have known many young Indians who have created one face for family and others for the outside world– understand why, and you are one step closer to understanding why addiction is on the rise in this generation." - the author responding to some idiot on a blog.
do you think he went to bard?
(a little bit of digging reveals it was williams.)
here's a passage i found on the nets:
"So, rather than waste my time going to classes ... I spent most of my time getting high and playing poker. I would walk in on the days of the tests for my premed classes, scribble my answers down as fast as possible, then race out to find something better to do with my time. I was also taking a poetry-writing class, but I'd been writing for a long time before I came to college as a way of dealing with my internal chaos, and so though the poems I created were sorry jumbles of cliche, they at least showed an understanding of basic poetic forms. The instructor was perpetually grumpy, either pissed that getting tenure didn't excuse him from having to teach poetry to a bunch of hacks, or that people only recognized him as the weirdo who had somehow gotten a poem with the last lines 'Put down your flamethrower, honey / you know I always loved you' into the Norton anthology. Since a couple of the students felt it was a class requirement that they talk more than the professor, even if it was only a monologue about the secret meaning of the poem they had scribbled before class, I soon stopped going to that class too."

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