Get Intimate with Devi. Feature #5. Books that’ve made a personal impact.

I’ve put this series together for my community – all of you who love and wear my designs; my peers, who are also in pursuit of an ethical lifestyle; and those who’ve stumbled upon the collective, and want to know more about me, the designer and founder. 

The question this month is:

Is there a book that had a big impact on you, or even changed your life?

This is my answer:

Over the last few years, it has been difficult to find time to read while also growing this business, but reading is one of my favourite past times. That said, there are two books which immediately came to mind in answer to your question. They are…

The Death of Vishnu
By Manil Suri 

I first read this book in a first year literature class in university. I was 17 years old. Up until that point, all I’d read in an academic setting were the standard literary novels we’re all familiar with. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Lord of the Flies’ for example. Both great books, but when I started reading this book… I was floored. The prose was beautiful, and the topics it explored piqued my interest in a way nothing I’d read before had. It was also one of my first looks into Indian culture. 

The God of Small Things
by Arundhati Roy

With a focus on Hinduism, spirituality, and Indian culture within the caste system, this book widened my perspective in a big way. I hadn’t been exposed to these topics as a child, and this book put fuel on the fire of the curiosity that had already been lit by ‘The Death of Vishnu.’ This was also the first book to make me cry. It caught me by surprise. I’d just finished reading a paragraph and before I knew what was happening, tears were streaming down my face. I hadn’t had that sort of emotional response to a book before, and the memory has stayed with me.

Not too long after reading both of these books, I visited India for the first time. I now work with several different co-operatives of female artisan’s in India, and the country’s culture and creative practices continue to have a large impact on my life and work.