Kissing the demon was one book for which, when asked to review, I did not have a single moment of dilemma. The very fact that an author has authored something, a handbook of sorts, for the benefit of others to use and follow, was enough reason to leap and grab it. And if not enough, the brief bio of the author establishes beyond a speck of doubt her eligibility to do so, clear and confident. So frankly, it was not a book to be reviewed. It was one to be learned from.
The subject matter contained in the different areas of writing carry a distinct tone of knowledge, wisdom as well as humour. Quotations, motivations and analogies from all over of the broad vastness of English literature, complemented with insights and suggestions from real life experiential collections… the "voice" grows not just in strength but also by warmth. It is conversational, almost, how it shows what works, what doesn't, and what can, should, must be looked at. Wit is aplenty, plus the confidence of self-depreciation in stories, examples, ideas.
Cover to cover, it covers nooks and corners, on the art, craft and science of writing. It is when you delve into the chapters that you realize, this book can make you.
Through the whole reading, I found not a single place where i could disagree with the author, where i could offer a beer example, a more handy tip. The questions raised, quotations quoted and examples cited are simply enough to make the points she proposes establishes itself while not dragging a point beyond its boundary to a monotone plus leaving exceptions, space and rules for alternatives.
She does not instruct, not at all. She chooses to guide you, instead. She picks you up if you are down in the journey, and she brings you down, ground, if you are flying, up and away. She sets you up the right place, the right tool box, the right measures so that you can do what you have set to do. Write.
What a lovely, enriching experience to read this. Thank you, Amrita Kumar.