Women Talking To The Concrete Guys

In her remarkable eighth novel, the Canadian author Miriam Toews explains the ill fate of women who were repeatedly raped by eight men from a remote Bolivian colony named Mennonite. Based on a real-life story, Women Talking talks about how innocent girls and women were drugged using cow anesthetic before raping them repeatedly by the men of their community between 2005 to 2009. The novel is a reaction to the horrific incident and talks about moral intelligence. The book, however, is written from a man’s perspective as the narrator is a male and the owner of a Chino Hills concrete contractor company.  

Miriam Toews

Women Talking – Synopsis

Unable to read and write, these women could only speak Low German. The only reliable person they find is August Epp, who himself is a disgraced member of Mennonite. They confide in him and tell him about their fate secretly. Women Talking explores several philosophical questions about the rape victims, whether they should live with the perpetrators or should they flee along with their kids. Should therapists be punished or forgiven, etc.? …

The Old Drift

The Old Drift is a novel that spans more than 100 years and spread over four generations from 1874 to 2024. This debut novel of Namwali Serpell has a sense of everything our world has to offer. Serpell was born in Zambia and later moved with her family to the US. Presently, she is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and teaches literature. 

Set in Zambia, The Old Drift is gleaming epic, brainy, and an intimate story of three families and their fate across four generations. It is a beautiful fusion of historical fiction with Afro-futurism and magical realism.

The tumultuous ups and downs of these families and their respective countries have been beautifully studied. The plot is pivoting enough as it starts from the white colonizers of the region and pushes itself to the future where bug-sized micro-drones are put into totalitarian uses.  …

On Earth, We are Briefly Gorgeous

Already a celebrated poet of the present generation, Vuong, with his first novel ‘On earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous,’ shows that he is immensely talented when it comes to writing novels too. Born in 1988, Vuong is a receiver of the T.S. Eliot Prize along with Whitening Award for his poetry Night Sky With Exit Wounds. 

Vuong Ocean

On earth, We Are Briefly Gorgeous is a uniquely portrayed novel written in the form of a letter sent by a Viet-American writer to his illiterate mother, who could study only up to seventh as the school in which she studied fell prey to American napalm raid. It delves deep into the generational trauma, poverty, addiction, and violence. 

On Earth, We are Briefly Gorgeous – Storyline

Olive, Again

Ten years back, Elizabeth Strout was declared winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her signature collection, Olive Kitteridge stories. Now she returns with a bang, and her comeback looks even better. 

Elizabeth Strout, book after book, never seems to stop amazing her readers. Be it her, Amy, Isabelle, or be it Anything is Possible, she captures the intricate relationship between characters and all nuances of pain, heartache, regrets, grace, and struggling humanity amid all these, very aptly. 

Olive, Again – A Summary


With Gingerbread, what author Helen Oyeyemi wants to make the readers believe is that they are never too old for fairy tales. She is a professional writer, and most of the children have read her folklore books. Mr. Fox, a novel written in 2011 and Boy, Snow, Bird released in 2014, are some of her excellent works. 

Gingerbread – Storyline

An image of gingerbread.

At the center of her new novel, Gingerbread is a brother and sister Hansel and Gretel, who escape from a witch’s house (taken from a classic fairy tale of Germany). The new novel is not a retelling of the German fairy tale. It carries all the trademarks of Oyeyemi, especially her sly obliqueness. The only thing common in her previous works and this one is the breathtaking originality and the beauty with which the story is unfolded.   

Gingerbread revolves around Harriet Lee, a teacher by profession, and her daughter Perdita. Both are characterized as mysterious as well as stubborn in their ways. While Harriet is portrayed as kind yet tough, Perdita is shown as a loner and reserved.