The Quiet of The Birds - Collected Stories  Volume One

The Quiet of The Birds - Collected Stories Volume One

Product ID: 16310

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Author: Nisha da Cunha
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 383
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0144000016


Nisha da Cunha is widely regarded as one of India’s finest short story writers. In this first volume of her collected stories, which includes five new stories, we see her at her best, writing with a sure touch and a fine degree of sensitivity about women faced with uncertainty, fear, despair and romantic longing. She uses a number of female voices-each one authentic, credible and compelling-to bring into sharp focus the inner lives and feelings of her characters as they try to come to terms with separation, rejection, loss and death.

There is Safia in the title story, who grapples with grief and isolation in the big city after she is transplanted from the idyllic village where she grew up in the company of her beloved father and birds; Radha in Old Cypress, whose husband of twenty-nine years leaves her for a younger woman; and El in African Bird, who shares the confusion of her male parrot when he lays three eggs even as she tries to cope with the loss of a limb. We are also witness to the growing and difficult friendship of a cantankerous old man and a middle-aged woman who are drawn together by their passion for books; the obsessive love of a matriarch that makes her son an emotional cripple; and the unnatural calm of a mother whose worst premonition has come true.

A collection of considerable beauty and power including stories from the critically acclaimed Old Cypress and The Permanence of Grief, this volume is infused with Nisha da Cunha’s deep understanding of the fragility of the human condition.


Nisha da Cunha manages to recreate the sharp edge of emotion in all her stories, leaving the reader with a feeling of deep pathos and yet a strange serenity of acceptance.
-Hindustan Times

Nisha da Cunha treads gently along the paths of the human heart.
-Illustrated Weekly of India

There is a sadness which is quite unsentimental and is linked up with some of the great tragic themes of western literature.
-David Daiches

Whatever she writes is strongly individual and deeply felt, The dialogue is skillfully crafted, capturing each nuance of feeling.
-Sunday Observer

Da Cunha weaves her magical spell through short sentences, deceptively simple and yet bristling with impact.
-Hindustan Times


Old Cypress
African Bird
One Summer Meeting
Four Friends and a wedding
English Girl
Antonio’s House
Three Lives
Partly Living
Because it is My Nature
Down and Out, Washing up with Gladys
The Quiet of the Birds
The Permanence of Grief
Autumn on a Summer’s Day
A Nest of Old Feathers
Teacher’s Day
Mama’s Boy
There are no Brownies at St Anthony’s
End Cottage
A Grief Ago
Not Drowning-Just Waving
Chasing Edens-One July