Tag Archives: penguin books

bright lines book release at greenlight bookstore

post-shower + very clean Bri with Bright Lines!

I’ve just returned from attending my first ever author event at Greenlight Bookstore, my local independent bookstore that I absolutely love and adore. I know everyone in New York raves about The Strand, but if you would like a less claustrophobic and a more personal bookstore experience, visit Greenlight.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll already know that I LOVED Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam. If you’d like to read my review of the book, click here. It’s a beautiful book that follows three amazing characters who are each on different, but related paths of self-discovery. Most of the book takes place in Brooklyn, very near to where Greenlight Bookstore is located which gave the event an extra magical vibe tonight.

The event began with an invitation to eat some of the delicious food provided by the author and her sister. I abstained because I had just finished eating my weight in grilled corn ten minutes prior to the event, but the food smelled amazing. After guests indulged in the food, author Mira Jacob led a conversation with Tanwi Nandini Islam about her book, life, and writing process. Islam also read a few excerpts from her book — all early portions from Anwar’s point of view.

tanwi nandini islam

Tanwi Nandini Islam clapping in excitement

The event was wonderful and Islam was so kind + gracious + humble for the positive attention her book has received so far. The store was packed to capacity with people excited to hear Islam talk about her debut novel. Many of the audience members were close friends and family members of Islam and it was honestly so amazing to be surrounded by their joy of her success — I almost felt like I was intruding on a family’s holiday celebration, but I still felt welcome and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Tanwi Nandini Islam signing Bright Lines

Tanwi Nandini Islam signing Bright Lines

Even though I had already read the novel, I decided to buy a copy to give away to a reader of my blog as part of a cool new project I’m planning on starting soon. I’ll give more details on it soon as I finish working on bringing the project to fruition.

tanwi5

The note says, “Let’s light up the work with our love + art.” Isn’t it great?

Advertisements

bright lines by tanwi nandini islam

brightlinesIn a week, on August 11, 2015, a fantastic book entitled Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam will be released. This is hand’s down the best book I’ve ever received as an Advance Reader’s Copy from the First to Read program. If you know what’s good for you, you will snatch it up/request it from your local library instantly! Bright Lines features many dynamic characters who are all fully fleshed out — each of the characters all exist with their own qualities and back stories and aren’t simply devices to advance the plot, which unfortunately has been rare for me to find in books at times.

The novel shifts perspectives throughout the story from the patriarch of a family, Anwar, to his biological daughter, Charu, to his adopted child, El, who is the orphaned child of the patriarch’s deceased brother-in-law. Each of these characters struggle through their own individual turmoil and to find themselves, proving that a “coming of age” experience can occur even when you’ve passed middle age as it does for Anwar.

The novel takes place about ten years ago in Brooklyn, specifically an area that I spend a lot of time in today. This shared geography definitely added to my enjoyment of Bright Lines, but I think the setting is so well described that any reader will be able to easily imagine the environment where the characters reside. These illustrative descriptions of the setting continue when the novel shifts momentarily to Bangladesh, both when Anwar reflects on his youth in the country and when the family chooses to return for a family vacation.

Anwar owns an apothecary and isn’t always present in his own life and his family’s dilemmas because he spends a lot of time toking up. At times, his herbal habit influences him to be a bad father and spouse. He ultimately attempts to remedy his mentally and morally absent behavior, but the reader is left to decide if it’s too little to late. Charu, Anwar’s teenage daughter, experiences the most familiar “coming of age” story that I’ve read before, but Nandini still writes Charu’s story in an interesting way.

The journey I was most engrossed with was El’s, Anwar’s adopted child, who moves from their home country of Bangladesh to America. El explores their sexuality, gender identity, and place within their adopted family, each of which is beautifully detailed by the extremely talented Nandini. None of El’s story  seems rushed or superficial and I felt like I was authentically accompanying El on their self-discovery.

Please, please, please read this book! Each of the stories are radically different and are beautifully interwoven. Plus, as a reader, you’ll get to enjoy exploring Brooklyn and Bangladesh with Nandini’s characters. 

If you’re in the Brooklyn area, come join me at Greenlight Bookstore on the book’s release date for a conversation between the author and Kiese Laymon. More details can be found by clicking here.

Disclaimer: I was provided with an Advance Reader Copy of this book for free from the Penguin First to Read program. All opinions expressed in the following review are my own and have not been influenced by Penguin.

Expected Publication Date: 11 August 2015 by Penguin Books. Format: Ebook.

Author: Tanwi Nandini Islam web/@twitter/instagram