Why A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry is meaningful to Nora Young
July 1, 2017 marks 150 years since Confederation in Canada. CBC Books is creating the Great Canadian Reading List — a list of 150 books curated by you.
"A Fine Balance springs to mind as a book that I've always carried with me, that I felt changed my life in some way. It's both intimate and really powerful in its scope. It's deeply, deeply moving. It's tragic, but it's also uplifting.
"It's a novel that's set in India in the mid-1970s around the time of the Emergency Crisis. It tells the story of these four characters who lives are intertwined. The title A Fine Balance is very telling because it's about the fine balance of these characters' fates and futures and economic security and well-being, but also about the fine balance and fragility of democracy. A lot of really heart-rending things happen in the book, but somehow, maybe because it's so powerful in its historical reach, it's never depressing. In a way, you just end up feeling uplifted by the sadness and beauty of human life."
Nora Young is the host of CBC Radio's Spark. As a journalist, author and speaker, Nora explores how new technology shapes the way we understand ourselves and the world around us. Her book, The Virtual Self, is published by McClelland and Stewart.