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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"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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Novelist, short-story writer, and children's author Anita Desai was born in 1937 in Mussoorie, India. She was educated at Delhi University.
Her novels include Fire on the Mountain (1977), which won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize; Clear Light of Day (1980); In Custody (1984); and Fasting, Feasting (1999), each of which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In Custody was made into a film by Merchant Ivory productions. Her children's book The Village by the Sea (1982), won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Girton College, Cambridge and Clare Hall, Cambridge.
Anita Desai lives in the United States, where she is the John E. Burchard Professor of Writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.
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