Monday, February 7, 2011

Literary Blog Hop: Literary Travel

Literary Blog Hop

So I'm obviously late on this as last week's Literary Blog Hop, hosted by The Blue Bookcase, ended two days ago but I've been busy with friends and work and football and the only reason I'm even able to write this now is because one of the children I babysit went down for a nap and the other is still at preschool, meaning a whole hour of nothing to do but read and write and isn't that amazing? So clearly you have forgiven me for my tardiness and we can get on to this last week's question:

What setting (time or place) from a book or story would you most like to visit? Eudora Welty said that, "Being shown how to locate, to place, any account is what does most toward making us believe it...," so in what location would you most like to hang out?

I even have the clothes for it!
Except my robes are for Hufflepuff,
so make the appropriate adjustments
to my characters references because
I'm sleepy and therefore
do not want to.
This is easy for me. So easy, in fact, that I came up with two answers: one fantasy and one real. The fantasy destination is obviously Hogwarts. A friend of mine and I spent the summer before high school waiting for owls to deliver our invitations. Let me rephrase: she spent the summer waiting for her owl and recounting highly complex Harry Potter-related dreams to me and I humored her. Of course, a little part of me wanted and still wants to spends sunny English spring afternoons lolling by the lake, drinking pumpkin juice and levitating Ron somebody slightly more interesting than Ron, and then running off to the library with Hermione because, well, I love books, and eating trifle for dinner because there's no one to stop me, and having fun in the common room while I practice transfiguration on Colin Creevy. And then doing some other magical stuff before pulling the curtains on my four-poster bed closed and drifting into magical dreams (that are conveniently uninhabited by the Dark Lord)... Ah, to be British (and/or magical).

The real place that I would love to visit is India. I've got some weird, inexplicable fascination with India which you can see in the fact that it is the setting of most of the non-English language settings of the books I read, like Midnight's Children and Sea of Poppies. I don't know if it's the food or the yoga or the landscape or the brightly colored clothing but, more than any other country, reading about India makes me want to go. Likewise, reading about people (mostly the British) being mean to India makes me really freaking angry (like in The Moonstone by WIlkie Collins - they spend so much time debating the ownership of the freaking diamond and not one person gives a hoot that it belongs to Indians!).  Not surprisingly, visiting India is high on my list of life goals. Other books that I love that are set at least partially in India include The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. I'd love any reccomendations of other excellent novels taking place in India - the more, the better!


  1. I swear you hate on Ron just to bait me into commenting on it...

  2. Ahh, if only Britain were like that, sadly never slept in a 4 poster bed, although I have relaxed by lakes, but normally It's beer or wine not pumpkin juice. My choices were a couple of libraries, 1 real although ancient & one fictitious, and a romp around Scotland with an admiref writer.
    Ps. Did you know the bowl at the entrance to hufflepuffs cellar, was inspired by the art of Guisseppe Arcimboldo. A strange & curious bit of info from Wikipedia.

  3. Well, we might not be able to visit the *real* Hogwarts, but we can always travel to the Harry Potter Theme Park in Orlando! I live two hours away and haven't gone yet - I need to plan for it soon. It's embarrassing that I've had clients from Minneapolis already visit it and I haven't. Apparently, it's incredible and you can even order butterbeer. Yum...

  4. Hi--got here through the Top Ten book-to-movie post and stayed to read some others. If you like books about India, take a look at The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar. And her first book, The Space Between Us. They're both fantastic. And I just finished reading a book coming out later this spring by Bharati Mukherjee called Miss New India--if you contact Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, I bet they'd send you a copy.

  5. Ooh great idea! Do I contact publicity? Thanks!