Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto

Em and the Big Hoom

Jerry Pinto

Strangely beautiful, compassionate, but also disturbing. An utterly moving story of Em and 'Angel Ears' and their family life amidst the chaos of cups of tea, beedi smoke and Em's troubled, stormy mind. Narrated by her son with plenty of amazing, often funny dialogue, this is an uplifting story despite the pain and madness ravaging through it.

Extract

'Black Pants?'
'You should remember. You were there.'
'I was where?'
'No, maybe you were too little. It was the time that the fan was sending messages.'
The fan had been sending messages for a while. Often, these were innocuous messages that had very little impact on the family. The fan - or the people in the fan, we were never sure since the singular and the plural were both used - might dictate a jam sandwich to be consumed at three o'clock in the morning or the washing of the curtains a few days after they had been hung. But this time, the message was clear. Take your son and leave the house.
She did.
'I think it was some time in the afternoon. You didn't want to go but you came anyway because in those days you followed me around with a sad look in your eyes. Did I ever tell you that you broke my heart?'
'Repeatedly.'
'I hope you carry some guilt around.'
'You must stop reading those American magazines.'
'Who brings them home in the first place?'
Mother and son wander out on to the road.

Parallels
  • Surviving Women by Jerry Pinto
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath