Love and Longing in Bombay: Stories

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9780316133074: Love and Longing in Bombay: Stories

A civil servant narrates six stories to the patrons of a Bombay bar, tales of ghosts and soldiers, love and hate between families, and corruption in present-day India. By the author of Red Earth and Pouring Rain. Tour.

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Review:

Welcome to the Fisherman's Rest, a little bar off the Sasoon Dock in Bombay where Mr. Subramaniam spins his tales for a select audience. This is the setting for Vikram Chandra's collection of seven short stories, Love and Longing in Bombay, and Subramaniam is Chandra's Scheherezade. In these stories, Chandra has covered the gamut of genres: there is a ghost story, a love story, a murder mystery, and a crime story, each tale joined to the others by the voice of the elusive narrator. In "Shakti," a discussion about real estate leads to the story of a soldier who must exorcise a ghostly child from his family home. In the final story, "Shanti," a young woman's despair about the state of the country becomes a springboard for a tale of love and hope.

Love and Longing in Bombay is a mesmerizing collection, filled with fully rounded characters and stories that resonate long after the book is back on the shelf. Chandra's prose is luminous, his tales satisfying. Scheherezade would be impressed.

About the Author:

Born in New Delhi, India, in 1961, Vikram Chandra now divides his time between Bombay and Washington D.C., where he teaches at George Washington University. He is a graduate of Pomona College, Los Angeles and Columbia University Film School in New York. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker and the Paris Review. His debut novel, Red Earth and Pouring Rain, was awarded the David Higham Prize for Fiction and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for the Best First Published Book. His collection of stories, Love and Longing in Bombay, was published in 1997 and won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for the Eurasia region. It was also shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, and was included in the New York Times Book Review's 'Notable Books of the Year', and also in both the Guardian and Independent's 'Books of the Year' round-ups.

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Vikram Chandra
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