Author: Anjana Appachana
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143100912
The stories in this collection are set in the early eighties, and Anjana Appachana wonderfully captures the raw, vibrant energy and optimism of a time when we drank chai for thirty paise, and twenty thousand rupees spent on gifts for the boy’s side was an enormous amount of money for middle-class Indians.
Her characters strain for a place beyond the boundaries of a prescribed way of life in urban middle India: a hapless college student gets gated a few days before her appointment for an abortion; a disgruntled clerk philosophises gloomily about his place in the scheme of things; a young girl, against all odds, decides to keep her sister’s deep, dark secret. By turns warm, gullible, arrogant and bigoted, Appachana’s characters live their lives amid contradictions and double standards, superstitions and impossible dreams, but ultimately usurp their familiar landscape and imbue it with an idiosyncratic vision.
This generally engaging collection explores an India of superstitions, secrets, warring values and family obligations . . . a strong first collection.
An exceptionally gifted writer, who has, without doubt, put her finger upon the pulse of one of the many Indias we know.
-Times of India
A collection way above the ordinary, documenting the turmoils in a rapidly changing society.
Subtly and skillfully combining comedy with the intimation of tragedy, Appachana’s stories proclaim a versatile and exciting talent.
-New Statesman and Society
The strength of the collection lies in the deft handling of a range of personal and emotional crises and turning points in women’s lives.
An extremely gifted writer. Her writing is sparse in craft, redolent with a nostalgia which is only autobiographical in tapestry, as if the writer has used her perceptions to give life to the characters of her stories.
Appachana is a shrewd and discerning observer of the contemporary, near-anarchic conditions in India. Endowed with an understanding breadth of vision, far beyond her years and a playful sense of humour, occasionally bordering on the macabre, she is a bright star on the literary horizon.
My Only Gods
When Anklets Tinkle
Sharmaji and the Diwali Sweets