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Swimmer Among the Stars: Book summary and reviews of Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor

Swimmer Among the Stars

Stories

by Kanishk Tharoor

Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor X
Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor
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  • Published Mar 2017
    256 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

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Book Summary

"[A] writer who is gifted not just with extraordinary talent but also with a subtle, original, and probing mind." - Amitav Ghosh

In one of the singularly imaginative stories from Kanishk Tharoor's Swimmer Among the Stars, despondent diplomats entertain themselves by playing table tennis in zero gravity - for after rising seas destroy Manhattan, the United Nations moves to an orbiting space hotel. In other tales, a team of anthropologists treks to a remote village to record a language's last surviving speaker intoning her native tongue; an elephant and his driver cross the ocean to meet the whims of a Moroccan princess; and Genghis Khan's marauding army steadily approaches an unnamed city's walls.

With exuberant originality and startling vision, Tharoor cuts against the grain of literary convention, drawing equally from ancient history and current events. His world-spanning stories speak to contemporary challenges of environmental collapse and cultural appropriation, but also to the workings of legend and their timeless human truths. Whether refashioning the romances of Alexander the Great or confronting the plight of today's refugees, Tharoor writes with distinctive insight and remarkable assurance. Swimmer Among the Stars announces the arrival of a vital, enchanting talent.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Tharoor is clearly a monumental talent, and his debut is a pleasure, from the first page to the last." - Kirkus

"Though the tendency to keep characters unnamed and their lives painted in broad strokes blends the stories together, Tharoor's collection is imaginative and relevant." - Publishers Weekly

"It's been years since I've encountered a collection as beguiling as Swimmer Among the Stars. Kanishk Tharoor seems to have sprung onto the scene fully formed, possessed of his own mischievous and erudite voice, already at the full height of his powers." - John Wray

"Like the storytellers of old, as well as the art's 20th century masters, Kanishk Tharoor brings together times past and our present day in his dazzling fables where the exotic and the mundane, the lost and the hoped for, are woven into images that remind the reader that it is through sharing stories, and maybe stories alone, that civilizations and their subjects come together in surviving whatever tasks history sets for them."- Sjón

"These stories gleam with the light of an authentic and wholly original imagination, beautifully crafted and in possession of an untamed, almost feral sense of creativity." - Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

This information about Swimmer Among the Stars was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Kanishk Tharoor

Kanishk Tharoor is a writer based in New York City. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Guardian, the VQR, and elsewhere. His short story "Tale of the Teahouse" was nominated for a National Magazine Award. He presented "Museum of Lost Objects," a ten-part BBC radio series on cultural destruction in the Middle East. He studied at Yale, Columbia, and New York University, where he was a "Writer in Public Schools" fellow.

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