Author: Raj Kamal Jha
Publisher: Picador India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0330373854
A novel of extraordinary power and rare humanity which holds within itself the conflicting worlds of lost innocence, an erotic past, a frayed present, an intense fabrication and, above all, undying decay.
In a house on a narrow Calcutta street, lit by the half-light of a yellow street lamp, lies a baby, one day old, wrapped in its hospital towel. In the next room sits a man, all alone, writing.
Who is this man, at once frightened and determined? What is he writing? Where has the baby come from and where will it go? Tonight, these questions will be answered when the man unravels the dark secrets he has carried all his life.
Painting scenes half-remembered he flits between past and present, twisting facts to flesh out fiction. Slowly, as the night grows darker, the truth is revealed like a jigsaw falling into place, piece by piece: two children who muffle their fears in the blueness of their bedspread;...
In prose that is breathtaking and precise, Raj Kamal Jha discovers love and hope behind the hidden violence and twisted eroticism of an old city. It is a profoundly moving story of people who, through their imagination, find the escape they so desperately seek. <
PRESS REVIEW: Jha is a master imagist. From still-life studies he draws connections with humans. From observations of the city, he captures individual lives.
It is a grand work of images and words, a rich depiction of a drying, derelict world in which shadow people -- extraordinary in their ordinariness -- inhabit. - - THE ASIAN AGE