Paul Theroux understands India
intimately, as is clear from his various books based
on the country, such as By Rail Across the Indian
Subcontinent (1984); however,
he does tend to present a rather well-worn image of
the world's largest democracy which, today, is on
the cusp of a major economic revolution. The problem
of presenting a country that has traditionally been
represented by snake charmers and nebulous rituals
has forced many foreign writers to renegotiate India
in their fiction. Paul Theroux manages this with
some success in his latest collection of three
inter-related short stories.
The stock dialogues and the pious homilies are all here. As a character in one story surmises a tragic death from another story, "He has left the body," in ...
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