Happy Birthday To Me - A Book Review

'Happy Birthday To me' is the debut collection by The Asian Writer, a literary magazine which supports and champions British/South Asian writers. It features short stories and poetry on theme of celebration as well as interviews with some of the well known Asian writers writing today.

The book begins with a modern day story by Pervin Saket called 'Happy Birthday to me' that gives readers a clue to the modern psyche. Some of the other notable contributions are Niven Govindan's 'The Writer's wife' a story with a twist at the end and 'My Son's mother' by Roopa Farooki.

'Coming Home' by Farhana Shaikh is a poignant story that touches the heart...
"Happy days at home. Father was so different then. And mother...I can't remember my mother as hard as I try. Memories of her left me a long time ago."
A taste of immigrant voice that welcomes the change is evident in 'White Diwali' by Nikesh Shukla
"The grass of the back lawn was sprinkled with frosting, a candied sugar of anomaly...It was a Diwali miracle." whereas in 'I  am the child of the colony' by Rabiah Hussain is awed but at the same time homesick...
"The brave new world is their abode, but their world is never far found, ... It's in my father's sighs and in my mother's eyes."

Readers who are interested to know more about their favourite authors would be spoilt for choice with some very interesting interviews. Mohsin Hamid when asked if he had other jobs while writing, said, "Thanks goodness 'cause if you spend seven years on a book and don't do anything else, you'd starve to death."
Nirpal Dhaliwal when asked what was his aim when he left England to start a new life in Delhi, confessed, "I wanted bigger questions posed to me rather than thinking about getting a flat, getting drunk, getting laid, getting more work."
Lorella Belli the literary Agent's interview is great for all those wanna be auhtors looking for that big break and that agent.

Lastly, more than twenty authors give advice on writing starting with Rana Dasgupta's, 'Scare yourself. Write with heart' and 'to Read, write and persist' by Tishani Doshi.

All in all a brave attempt by The Asian Writer and the readers won't be dissappointed. The book is available to buy on Amazon.

A Book Review by Smita Singh

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