Author: Shama Futehally
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143062174
One of India's finest prose stylists, Shama Futehally (1952–2004) was also among the country's most accomplished writers of short fiction in English. This posthumous collection brings together all her short stories, written over two decades. The first and title story—also the last that she wrote—is a fictionalized account of the Uphaar Cinema tragedy in Delhi and was originally intended as a novella. Yet, even in its present form we see the exceptional skill with which Futehally presents people and events—whether it is the wealth of intimate details that make up individual lives, or the subtle but always effective awareness of larger social realities.
Such skill, and the ability to lay open whole worlds of experience in spare, pared down prose, is evident in all the other stories, where we enter the lives of maidservants and memsaabs, riot victims and victims of fate, wives and husbands, mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. Shama Futehally's deeply felt stories demonstrate her command over her craft, and her sensitive understanding of the politics of class and gender and, finally, of human nature itself.
Shama Futehally's short stories, are moving, full of atmosphere, and have their point or moral properly indicated (as in any good story). I enjoyed reading them and felt transported to India.
There is grace in Futehally's prose, so much that is apposite, poetic and unpretentious
She excels in evoking a mood, an atmosphere or even a character with a single telling phrase or a revealing image.
-Indian Review of Books
INTRODUCTION BY GITHA HARIHARAN
The First Rains
Portrait of a Childhood
AFTERWORD by Laeeq Futehally