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In ten stories that read like parables, Meera Nair depicts contemporary Indian life with fierce precision and an irresistible blend of humor, wit, and pathos, firmly establishing herself as a striking new voice in Indian fiction.
An American porn flick wreaks havoc on the life of an Indian man, much to the dismay of his wife. A young man’s uncanny gift for sculpting statues out of sand makes the women of his village swoon—until the men plot to put a stop to it. A small town of “utter inconsequence” prepares excitedly for a visit from President Clinton. This stunning debut collection offers brilliant snapshots of life’s small reversals and a broad-stroke portrait of our times.
“Magical. . . . Video is that rarity, a first collection whose every story charts new areas in human relationships.” —The Washington Post
“Echo[es] the magic realism and mythic overtones of Arundhati Roy and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. . . . Video reveals the budding talent of an assured, accomplished writer.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“The writing is juicy; the details lovely, luscious bits of description that waft pungently from the Subcontinent with true Indian-style density.” —Los Angeles Times
“Sure-footed and telling, filled with powerful observations and sentences of lyric beauty. . . . [Video] revels in . . . the stunning collisions between ancient ritual and contemporary reality that are everyday occurrences in India.” —Chicago Tribune
“A gifted writer with a flair for storytelling, Nair creates passionate, distinctive characters, establishing herself as a writer to watch.” —USA Today
“Powerful. . . . Emotionally nuanced. . . . Flawlessly executed. . . . Taken together, [these stories] span a wide swath of Indian experience. . . . [An] accomplished collection.” —Vogue
“These stories are stunning: sensuous and touching and beautifully crafted. . . . I’ve never met Meera Nair, but I feel I’ll be listening to her for a very long time to come.” —Pico Iyer
“Memorable and moving. . . . Poignant. . . . Nair captures the voices of her countrymen to mesmerizing effect.” —The Oregonian
“Impressive . . . striking. . . . Comparable to Jhumpa Lahiri’s Pulitzer winner Interpreter of Maladies, and very probably the beginning of a fine career.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Indelible. . . . A quietly defiant work of gentle emotion.” —The Austin Chronicle
“Masterful. . . . Unflinching. . . . Abound[ing] with authenticity.” —The Washington Times