Saturday, July 30, 2016

Book Review : Fire Girl : Essays on India, America, and the In-Between - Sayantani Dasgupta

Every single particle in the universe is descriptive, and when you are all ears to them, they tell a story. Stories, that will fascinate you, make you dust away your tantrums and increase your levels of curiosity to know more, the origin, consequences and the endings. There are various ways of knowing a story, seeing people create them, hear them, visualize them and the most superlative ways is by living it and how you live those stories is completely on you, your understanding, your eagerness and your association, in any form, with the same. Question for you, the stories give you experience or experiences make stories? Do answer in the comments below and share your thoughts.

I recently read Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, and the In-Between, a book by author Sayantani Dasgupta, who was born in Kolkata, raised in New Delhi and currently teaches at the University of Idaho. Sayantani's book is a collection of her essays written over a period of time and have appeared in various publications. The essays are about her personal life experiences in India, America and, as she calls it, everything in between. She shares stories or essays, that are her take on various aspects of human life under various circumstances at various places and numerous influences.

Book Review : Fire Girl  Essays on India, America, and the In-Between - Sayantani Dasgupta
Book Review : Fire Girl  Essays on India, America, and the In-Between - Sayantani Dasgupta
The book Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, and the In-Between is a collection of 15 essays by Sayantani Dasgupta and are titled as mentioned below. To me, the titles were as interesting as the book in totality. The abstract cover photo is a strong reason in itself to pickup the book.
  1. Reptilian Brain
  2. On Collecting Stories
  3. The Snow-White Men of India
  4. On Seeking Answers
  5. Goddesses
  6. Why Home is a Bad Bollywood Movie
  7. With Love to Captain Nemo
  8. My Grandfather’s Red Chair
  9. Fire Girl
  10. Oracles
  11. Five Students
  12. Beyond the Ivory Tower
  13. The Butcher Shop of New Delhi
  14. In the Land of Water: An Essay in Three Parts
  15. Oscillation
The essays in Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, and the In-Between are so true to their writings, emotions, setting and narration that you cannot resist yourself from visualizing the scenes. The beauty of these essays is the way they access readers thoughts and make a mark the intellect and not a scar, create unrest to know more, stick to essay and till you conclude with amusement of reading something very universal in nature, yet unspoken of. The questions, the reasoning, the rationalization and the debates are compelling without sounding like a complain, the what-if's or the world are sidelined and what-is are presented. The writing, and the narrative delivery is very perspective based making you interpret and articulate the thoughts which might have been ignored when you were in a similar situation. The essays are a take on one's belief, history and the culture which will take you on a transit to notice the minuscules of life.

Out of the 15 essays in Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, and the In-Between, my personal favorites are Reptilian Brain, On Seeking Answers, Goddesses, Fire Girl, The Butcher Shop of New Delhi. The title essay, Fire Girl, is about Draupadi from the Indian Epic Mahabharata and the one's experiences of authoritative fearlessness by the other gender during the growing up years. Reptilian Brain, is about humans and their weakness to give up under fear even when the truth is on their side. Similarly, every single essay of the book will leave with a thought to scrutinize. If variety is the spice of the life, then the essays by Sayantani Dasgupta testify that. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading short stories irrespective of any genre.

Other Details:

Published byTwo Sylvias Press
CopyrightSayantani Dasgupta
ISBN: 978-0692721254
Genre: Non-Fiction | Short Stories
You can order a copy of the book from Amazon.
7:56:00 PM / by / 4 Comments


  1. Looks like an amazing read. Will soon get hold of a copy.

    1. Yes, it is. Do share your thoughts about the book over here when you have read the book.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, it is. Does share your thoughts with us when you have read the book.


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