If I were asked to mention a literary work that I read in 2021 that made me ponder then this book would be it. A time outside time by Amitava Kumar is an intricate web woven around the current scenarios.

This book which is penned over the span of four years reiterates unusual yet extraordinary stories. The book voices author’s filtered-unfiltered thoughts in 8 chapters. This book consists of bunch of essays and some are journal entries or reflections on the journal entries. From talking about the Hindu-Muslim riots of yesteryears to mob lynching and ill-treatment meted out to Pakistani immigrants and Afro-Americans, this books takes a look at all the issues ailing the humanity. Alongside we see how misinformation and information has been put out by the media. The author analyses and presents certain news to us, especially those related to Pandemic.

About the fake news being spread across by the media vis-a-vis literature, the author pens, “We are living in a world of accelerated and often false media. Literature, in its battle to find out what is real, has to lock horns with how news educates and misleads. Literature can become news by making news. This is because truth doesn’t just exist by itself. It takes effort; it is produced. It is an effect of practice.” The author doggedly goes after real news amidst the clamour of fake news. “My passion was for something narrower: I felt the need to keep an eye on the real even in the fake.” This persistence is quite evident throughout the book.

“The truth is that the truth is complicated.”

The author further highlights the social evils – politics, casteism and racism- that have become much prevalent in the recent past. Alongside this book is a good mixture of the best from literature. This book often refers back to Shakespeare or Premchand and Orwell’s 1984 is a prominent mention throughout.

To the author, life is all about experiencing and experimenting. He writes, “Many of the notes in my journal are about the news. But there are many that are also experiments.”

Overall, this book is an analysis and quite contemplative in nature. I have read such works before but this was certainly exceptional. However, it may not suit everyone’s palate.

To buy this book, pls click – https://amzn.to/3m5U8q4

Publisher – Aleph book co

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