I am a fan of Madhu Wangu’s writing, style, and stories. The Other Shore did not disappoint. Read on to see why!
Disclosure: I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
The Other Shore: Ordinary People Grappling with Extraordinary Challenges. A collection of twenty stories where we meet people struggling with inevitability of death, unavoidable circumstances, relationships gone sour, and our connection with nature. Some tales hover between reality and fantasy, while others reflect on outdated customs and tradition, prejudice and bigotry, altruism and kindness. The stories come alive with characters living in India, or Indians living in America, their American friends and people from around the globe. The stories are about human heart, hurt and search for life’s meaning and purpose.
“The Other Shore showers you with aesthetic pleasures by allowing you to examine the cross-cultural experience. Madhu Bazaz Wangu’s tales are filled with physically vigorous and mentally vital moments that exist in the now. Her narration has strong leanings in establishing identity, and her conversational style makes you feel relaxed as if you are getting acquainted with the characters face to face. I cannot help but feel moved by the story of Unrequited Love, as the theme profoundly illustrates one typical problem that arises among close-knit Asian families. There is always a striking point in all of these twenty stories where Wangu seems adept at scrutinizing the role of women in contemporary society. In the end, it is difficult not to feel moved or affected after reading these stories.”
– Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite
I am a big fan of Madhu’s writing, writing style, stories, and the realism that comes from everything she writes. She has such a unique way of writing and putting you in the shoes of who she is writing about.
The Other Shore is a compilation of short stories that deal with real a variety of emotions – some, I found I could relate to more than others.
I found myself reading one short story at a time, as I was able to absorb the writing, the emotion and the story much better, and be able to reflect upon what was written. I was able to put myself into that story and examine my own emotions that came with each story.
I will admit, some of the stories held my attention better than others; some were longer; some were shorter. Some felt more personal to me, where as some weren’t ones that I could personally relate too, but was able to empathize with the story being told.
The Other Shore is a book that I can see, keeping on my bedside table, and marking my favorite stories to refer back to during difficult times. Each story has a take away, depending on your own life experience and circumstances, and can be drawn upon during different stages, different events, and different experiences of your life.
If you have not read anything by Madhu B. Wangu before, this is a great place to start. I highly recommend her writings – you won’t regret it!
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About the author
Madhu B. Wangu is an award-winning author and the founder of Mindful Writers Groups and Retreats. She has a doctorate in the phenomenology of Religion from the University of Pittsburgh (1988) and a post-doctoral Fellowship from Harvard University (1989-1991). For fifteen years she taught Hindu and Buddhist art history at the University of Pittsburgh, Rhode Island College and Wheaton College. She joined Pennwriters Organization in 2005 and served as a Board member from 2007-10012. In 2020 she won Pennwriters Meritorious Award for being “a valuable asset to the writing and publishing world.” Dr. Wangu also serves as a board member for Books Bridge Hope, the non-profit organization with a mission to promote reading, writing and literacy to community members residing in shelters and on the streets of Pittsburgh.
More than three decades of meditating and journaling led Dr. Wangu to teach meditation and to write. The work resulted in a practice she calls Writing Meditation Method. You are welcome to join her every morning at Online Mindful Writers Group.
Madhu Wangu’s CDs, Meditations for Mindful Writers I, II & III, inspire professional as well as novice writers to improve focus, remove blocks, and increase writing flow and productivity. Her CDs include: Meditations for Mindful Writers: Body, Heart, Mind (2011), Meditations for Mindful Writers II: Sensations, Feelings, Thoughts (2017), and Meditations for Mindful Writers III: Generosity, Gratitude, Self-Compassion and Trust (2019)
Dr. Wangu has written books about Hindu and Buddhist goddesses: Images of Indian Goddesses: Myths, Meanings and Models, (Abhinav Publications, New Delhi, 2003) and A Goddess Is Born, (Spark Publishers, 2002). Her illustrated books for young adults are, Hinduism (Facts on File, Inc., New York, 1991) and Buddhism (Facts on File, Inc., New York, 1993). Madhu has also held five one-person shows of oil paintings and prints and has exhibited with art groups in India as well as USA.
Dr. Madhu Bazaz Wangu also writes fiction including Chance Meetings: Stories About Cross-Cultural Karmic Collisions and Compassion (2015), and two novels The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey (2016) and The Last Suttee (2017).
Currently, she is writing her second collection of short stories, Little Journeys (forthcoming in 2021). The manuscripts of her third novel, Meaning of My Life (2023) and a guidebook, Unclog Your Creative Flow, Enrich Your Daily Life (2025) are currently being written.
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