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The Singing Guru by Kamla Kapur

Book cover

The Singing Guru

Round about the time that Europe was plunging into the Reformation, Guru Nanak (1469-1539) was igniting Sikhism in India. Kamla Kapur retells tales about Nanak’s life and works in The Singing Guru, which I got as part of the LibraryThing early reviewer programme, and has the aim of bringing increased understanding of him and his faith to a wider audience.

It succeeds to some extent but the author expresses herself with a pronounced Indian accent although in perfectly good English, hinting at nuances from a culture I don’t share. As much as it opens up new stories to me, it tells of faraway times in a faraway land, leaving me aware of how little information I have to understand them in a wider context.
That is more my fault than Kapur’s but from my anglocentric perspective, I think I needed shorter stories as I felt I hardly managed to digest them at all. I think this will be a book to return to in the future; it wasn’t quite such an easy way into grasping the singing guru as I had hoped.

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