The Artist of Disappearance: Book summary and reviews of The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai

The Artist of Disappearance

By Anita Desai

The Artist of Disappearance
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2011,
    176 pages.

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Book Summary

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Anita Desai ruminates on art and memory, illusion and disillusion, and the sharp divide between life's expectations and its realities in three perfectly etched novellas. Set in India in the not-too-distant past, the stories' dramas illuminate the ways in which Indian culture can nourish or suffocate. All are served up with Desai's characteristic perspicuity, subtle humor, and sensitive writing.

Overwhelmed by their own lack of purpose, the men and women who populate these tales set out on unexpected journeys that present them with a fresh sense hope and opportunity. Like so many flies in a spider's web, however, they cannot escape their surroundings - as none of us can. An impeccable craftsman, Desai elegantly reveals our human frailties and the power of place.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Desai (Village by the Sea) treads lightly, at times too lightly, but at its best this collection leaves an indelible impression of the conflicts and ambitions found in a region riddled with conflict." - Publishers Weekly

"These stories are heart-wrenching in their portrayal of desperate people clinging to the fragility of hope. Beautifully written, this book will appeal especially to lovers of Indian literature." - Library Journal

"A deft exploration of the limits people place on themselves by trying to cling to the past." - Kirkus Reviews

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Author Information

Anita Desai Author Biography

Kiran Desai was born in India in 1971, she lived in Delhi until she was 14, then spent a year in England, before her family moved to the USA.  She completed her schooling in Massachusetts before attending Bennington College; Hollins University and Columbia University, where she studied creative writing, taking two years off to write Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard.

She first came to literary attention in 1997 when she was published in the New Yorker and in Mirrorwork, an anthology of 50 years of Indian writing edited by Salman Rushdie - Strange Happenings in the Guava Orchard was the closing piece.  In 1998, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, which had taken four years to write, was published to good reviews.  She says, "I think my first book was ...

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Author Interview

Name Pronunciation
Anita Desai: ki-RAN de-SIGH

Other books by Anita Desai at BookBrowse
  • The Inheritance of Loss jacket
  • Hullabaloo In The Guava Orchard jacket
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