Tomb of sand~ by Geetanjali Shree

 Ma is an 80-year old woman with plenty of money and has been depressed and going downhill health-wise since Pa died a few years prior. She causes problems for her children  and one day she walks away and gets lost. So her daughter, Beti who is very single and modern, takes Ma in to live with her. 

Tomb of Sand 
By Geetanjali Shree
Translated by Daisy Rockwell 
2018 / 
Read by  Deepti Gupta 18h 21m
Rating 9 / fiction
(Winner of the Booker International

prize and more)

Then along comes Rosie, a hijra (transexual -India style) to befriend her and be her companion. Meanwhile, a son gives her a golden cane with colorful butterflies. When Ma finds a small Buddha-statue she also realizes that her dream is to return to Pakistan. Rosie humors her and when the dust settles on that idea, they’re on their way. This is a huge abbreviation of what all goes on in the first third or so, but there are no spoilers.    

A tale tells itself. It can be complete, but also incomplete, the way all tales are. This particular tale has a border and women who come and go as they please. Once you’ve got women and a border, a story can write itself . . .”

The overarching theme is “borders,” and crossing them. It includes what they could be, where they are,  how to cross them, and so on. But the borders of gender and dying along with nationality (because it’s there) are more involved.   

There is a 1st person narrator, but that’s rarely apparent so there’s really no character development for him/her.

I had so looked forward to reading this but in places can be as boring as the Amazon readers say it is. It stayed compelling for me though   I just think a reader needs to take time to read it properly. Don’t go through I like it’s a thriller or a big climactic “ending” to get to.  The story is in the journey – to paraphrase a good saying.  

 There’s a lot of good story here, slow and meandering though it is, and I have a feeling I would have appreciated it a lot more 20 years ago when the literary aspects of a novel truly excited me. Now I find I get tired.  

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2 Responses to Tomb of sand~ by Geetanjali Shree

  1. Lisa Hill says:

    I hear you. I did like this book, but I would have liked it better if it had been a little shorter.


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