What We Are Reading Today: Empress – The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Updated 11 August 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Empress – The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Acclaimed historian Ruby Lal has written a brilliant and compelling biography of Nur Jahan.
In 1611, 34-year-old Nur Jahan became the 20th and most cherished wife of the Emperor Jahangir.
The author uncovers the rich life and world of Nur Jahan, rescuing this dazzling figure from patriarchal cliches of romance and intrigue, and giving new insight into the lives of women and girls in the Mughal Empire.
In Empress, Nur finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography that awakens readers to a fascinating history.
“Lal has done a service to readers interested in the Mughal period and the many forgotten or poorly remembered women of Indian history. She has helped shine a little light on an enigmatic character many think they know but few actually understand,” Vikas Bajaj writes in a review published in the New York Times.
“Lal is clearly constrained by the paucity of the material she has to work with. But she seems too reluctant to draw inferences and make analytical deductions,” the review added.


What We Are Reading Today: Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene

Updated 19 May 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene

A beautiful, devastating eloquent memoir about what is it like to lose a child and continue living, says a review published on goodreads.com.

It is a journey of grief and hope and resilience, and one I will not easily forget. 

An incredibly sad memoir written by a father whose daughter’s life is cut short by a freak accident. Shortly after her second birthday, Greta Greene is struck in the head by a crumbling brick. 

Author Jayson Greene chronicles the aftermath of her death, narrating his stages of grief and quest for some sense of relief from the emotions threatening to overwhelm him.

Because neither Jayson nor his wife are religious people they seek a variety of sources in an attempt to assign some meaning out to their tragic loss. Throughout the book, Greene describes their journey and the legacy Greta’s short life has had on her grieving family.

After all, it is hard to find a more depressing topic than the death of a toddler. But, it really is worth a read. The language is luminous and captivating. The author is gifted at describing the grief and different emotional states experienced by bereaved parents.