Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A day in the life - Short Stories by Anjum Hasan

My commitment to reading is on it's lowest this year - specially with all my free time going on binging sitcoms (guilty as charged) and work. But when I got my hands on Anjum Hasan's A day in the life - short stories - I was totally up for it. I feel short stories are less of a commitment, you can read one and then come back to the book whenever you want.

The book comes in a lovely rich hardcover with 230 pages of decent sized font telling different stories. The cover design is well done too - giving hints on the different characters/stories. I have not read any previous book by the author so I did not know what to be expecting. In-fact I did not even know its a lady!

The author has a great choice of words, has written the stories really well. It's not a quick read, you need to be slow with the pages. I thought some of the phrases used were quiet interesting, for instance - "a whole rain-fed lushness trying to break out of the earth and swallow the town." I could almost imagine and visualise this. Or - "Four months straight it rained with pounding emergency, bookended by two of drizzle."

I won't reveal the stories or plots - you have to read for yourself to know. Love the old world charm yet modern reality in the stories.

Book Overview:
Quixotic nonconformists in small towns and young newly-weds trying to keep up with the times; a forlorn retiree helpless in the face of contemporary anger and a middle-class woman's bond with her maid. Fourteen well-crafted stories give us a sense of the daily life of a wide cast of characters. Hasan's protagonists are, as always, inward-looking, and whimsical and vulnerable outliers. Where is their place in the new order, where have they come from and where are they going? 
Quietly devastating, subtly subversive and wonderfully wry, Hasan is a home-grown talent whose stories are increasingly the good address for authentic Indian fiction.
Anjum Hasan :
Anjum Hasan is the author of two novels, Lunatic in my Head (shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award) and Neti Neti (shortlisted for the Hindu Best Fiction Award), and a book of poems, Street on the Hill. She lives in Bangalore.

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