Saikat Majumdar Play House

ISBN 13: 9781579624972

Play House

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9781579624972: Play House

For ten-year-old Ori, his mother's life as a theatre actress holds as much fascination as it does fear.

Approaching adolescence in an unstable home, he is haunted by her nightly stage appearances, and the suspicion and resentment her profession evokes in people around her, at home and among their neighbors. Increasingly consumed by an obsessive hatred of the stage, Ori is irrevocably drawn into a pattern of behavior that can only have catastrophic consequences.

Political bullies, actors and actresses, hairdressers, set boys and backstage crew make up the world of Play House , a haunting exploration of a young boy stumbling into adulthood far ahead of his years.

This is the first US edition of one of the most widely read and acclaimed recent Indian works of literary fiction.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Saikat Majumdar was born in Calcutta and was educated in India and the United States. He is the author of a novel,Silverfish , and a book of criticism, Prose of the World. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and teaches world literature at Stanford University.

Review:

"This subtle coming-of-age novel set in 1985 India grabs the reader's attention with its enigmatic opening sentence: 'Disaster came early in Ori's life, at the age of five, the first time he saw his mother die.' Majumdar (Silverfish) quickly explains the context for that ominous statement: Ori's mother, Garima Basu, is a prominent actress, and the young Ori saw her perish onstage during a performance. By age 10, Ori, who lives a short walk from India's legendary Ganges River, has become obsessed with the theater ('The stage drew him like a magnet. Its warm fragrance drove him mad.'), but his mother has let him act with her only once and dismisses with scorn any idea of a repeat performance. His hopes are encouraged by an unsettling backstage encounter with Ahin Mullick, the producer of one of his mother's plays, who helps Ori remove his shirt and touches his chest. As Ori puts on another shirt at Ahin's request, his mother appears. She announces that her boy has no time to act and removes him from the theater. Majumdar succeeds in making his unusual lead sympathetic. The tale takes some unexpected turns en route to the ambiguous ending." --Publishers Weekly

"Saikat Majumdar's Play House was released under a different title in India, but the new title is a perfect play on words for the English edition. The eponymous Play House might be the theater where ten-year-old Ori has hidden to see his mother act. It might be the home run by his grandmother, where Mom will soon be unwelcome. Maybe it's the apartment, never quite a home, where mother plays at being mom. Or is it the house in the young boy's mind, where he puts together half-images, draws half-conclusions, and brings the whole construction down on everyone? This haunting novel is filled with vividly real characters, from political bullies to fumbling deviant, from family's strictness and love to street boys, stage boys and secrets, and from childhood to young adult...Play House is a vividly real depiction of lives and places, a haunting journey through a young man's wounded adolescence, and a poetically terrifying construct where youth is the rehearsal and the doors stay open at the end." --Sheila's Reviews

"The North American debut of Saikat Majumdar's Play House was originally published in India as The Firebird and short-listed for the 2015 Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Prize in Fiction. Set in Calcutta in the mid-1980s, the novel follows young Ori's obsession and fear over his mother's career on the stage. In Majumdar's captivating and poignant novel, all Ori knows for certain is that his mother, or whatever the word mother means, is lost to him, forever." -- Necessary Fiction

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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