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Love and Longing in Bombay: Storiesby Vikram Chandra
Synopses & Reviews
From the acclaimed author of Red Earth and Pouring Rain come five haunting stories that paint a vivid picture of Bombay — its ghosts, its passions, its feuds, its mysteries — and explore timeless questions of the human spirit.
The stories in Love and Longing in Bombay are linked by a single narrator, an elusive civil servant, who recounts an extraordinary sequence of tales to those seated around him in a smoky Bombay bar. Each of these stories belongs to a distinct genre: in "Shakti," a love story, two feuding families are united by forbidden passion; in "Dharma," a ghost story, a soldier forced to save his life by amputating own leg returns home to find that his house is haunted by the spirit of a small child; and in "Kama," a mystery, a detective takes on a murder case and finds himself traveling deep into the farthest reaches of carnality and deceit. Tightly controlled and luminously written, these beguiling tales prove once again that Vikram Chandra is one of the most original and accomplished writers at work today.
"[I]ngeniously linked....These stories...are uniformly full-bodied and richly detailed....A brilliant work, equally effective in its radiant separate parts and as a pleasingly complex and highly original construction." Kirkus Reviews
"[I]mmensely absorbing....Impeccably controlled, intelligent, sensuous and sometimes grim, Chandra's timeless and timely book is remarkably life-affirming, considering the dark areas of the heart he explores." Publishers Weekly
"Each sumptuous and suspenseful tale is strikingly different from the others even as they all reflect the intricacies of Indian culture and Chandra's profound sensitivity to the vagaries of the heart and the implacability of circumstances." Booklist
"Love and Longing in Bombay stands out as a considerable accomplishment, one in which the author marries his storytelling prowess to a profound understanding of India's ageless and ever-changing society." Shashi Tharoor, The New York Times Book Review
"Chandra's gift is the elaborate, pleasurable narrative line, sort of fiction you could stay up and read all night." John Sutherland, Seattle Times
"Exquisite....At the heart of each story is a mystery that keeps you reading." Chitra Divakurni, San Francisco Chronicle
"Displays as light a satirical touch as if it were Edith Wharton let loose on Malabar Hill, the great neck of Bombay....Chandra knows how to catch a whole era of expectation and loss in a single phrase." John Weir, Newsday
"Himmies with contradiction, seduction, and trouble....A perfect conundrum for the mysteries of Bombay." Betsy Sussler, Bomb
"Richly inventive and confident....The reader is enticed onto Chandra's carpet, the ride is smooth and sweeping, and the vistas that open up are filled with passages of surprising magic." Michael Frank, Los Angeles Times
"Breathtaking....When Midnight's Children first appeared on the scene, it became necessary to reevaluate stories from and about India. With Vikram Chandra's collection...it is time to take stock again." Farrukh Dhondy, The Observer (London)
On the heels of his award-winning and extravagantly praised first novel, RED EARTH AND POURING RAIN, Vikram Chandra offers five ingeniously linked stories--a love story, a mystery, a ghost story, and other tales spun by an elusive narrator sitting in a smoky Bombay bar. Critics around the world have embraced the book as a major work by this exciting young writer.
About the Author
Vikram Chandra teaches writing at George Washington University. His first book, the novel Red Earth and Pouring Rain, was awarded the David Higham Prize for Fiction and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for best first published book. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker and the Paris Review. He divides his time between Washington, D.C., and Bombay.
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