Saturday, December 24, 2016

20, by Vatsal Surti

"20" is a powerful book, it is more poetry than prose. A young woman hits a young man with her car. He is uninjured and, through happenstance, she later meets him and they begin a love affair. Author Vatsal Surti tightly controls what his readers know about this young man and woman. Although we "hear" her thoughts and their dialogue, we are kept at a distance as we float with the nameless protagonist through her life.

Through Surti's ethereal, gorgeous writing, it seems as if we are observing more than a love affair; we are hearing a generation fearing the unknown future and asking: Why am I alive, where am I going? Surti's protagonist tells her lover: "We are so young. We are completely immature. It all seems like the beginning and it’s so scary. I used to think ends are scary, beginnings must be beautiful. But it feels so strange to think. We won’t be the same forever.”

While reading "20," I heard faint whispers of early Ingmar Bergman films, and the poems of the beat poets. Vatsal Surti is a young author, and while his writing is not perfect, it is amazing and beautiful.

(In return for an honest review, I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.)
Print Length: 133 pages
Publisher: Hybrid Texts (December 18, 2016)
Publication Date: December 18, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC