New Login   


Natasha Jog



I’m Not Butter Chicken And  Other Stories for Teenagers  By Paro Anand IndiaInk, 2003, pp. 100, Rs. 150.00 The Mum Hunt  By Gwyneth Rees  So Super Starry  By  Rose Wilkins Macmillan, 2003 & 2004, pp. 200 & 198, price not stated.    The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley (who planned to live an unusual life)  By Martine Murray Macmillan, 2003, pp. 220, £4.99 My Heartbeat: Two’s Company, Three’s Complicated By Garret Freymann-Weyr Cannibals: It’s a girl eat boy  world  By Cynthia D Grant Picador, 2002, pp. 138 & 133, £4.99 each. Friends 4 ever  By Kate Andrews Macmillan, 1997, pp. 426, £4.99 Paro Anand’s I’m Not Butter Chicken… is the only one by an Indian among the six reviewed here. It’s a compilation of short stories by her about issues as varied as domestic violence and death of one’s parents to cheating in exams, at times fictional, at times philosophical and even autobiographical. When I was growing up (in the 80s) such content for children/young adults was difficult to come by, specially by an Indian author. That’s perhaps why Anand’s book makes for such refreshing reading.      An established author for children (and a school teacher) with ten previous titles to her credit, Anand’s writing is easy-going. The title story is of a teenaged girl who flies into a temper against her parents. Over seven pages the story dwells on Nitya’s “they love me, they love me not” angst. (She tells her father, “You can’t order me, I’m not butter chicken.”) It ends abruptly but satisfactorily with a touch of gentle humour.       In another piece, Anand writes about divorce as seen through the eyes of a young child who is hoping to erase the word from the dictionary. He even tries running away from home to escape what’s happening between his parents but finally realizes there is life after the D-word and running away doesn’t make it go away. In one of Anand’s customary end-of-the-story notes, there’s a hint of the secret of Anand’s success—her two children whom she says are her best critics.       The Mum Hunt by Gwyneth Rees is a very sweet story (alright, it’s Hollywood at its mushy best). Eight-year old Esmie lost her mother at childbirth. Her father, a detective, is trying hard to do a good job raising his two children, Esmie and her older brother Matthew with help from their young nanny Juliette. ...

Table of Contents >>
Please or to Read Entire Article

Free Access Online 12 Back Issues
with 1 year's subscription
Archive (1976-2011)
under construction.