Synopses & Reviews
Shortlisted for the 2011 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize Nominee
Longlisted for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award
"Clark Blaises brilliantly imagined The Meagre Tarmac is a novel in short-story form, warmly intimate, startling in its quick jumps and revelations, a portrait of individuals for whom we come to care deeply and a portrait of an Indo-American way of life that shimmers before our eyes with the rich and compelling detail for which Clark Blaises fiction is renowned .
The Meagre Tarmac is a remarkable accomplishment."Joyce Carol Oates
An Indo-American Canterbury Tales, The Meagre Tarmac explores the places where tradition, innovation, culture, and power meet with explosive force. It begins with Vivek Waldekar, who refused to attend his fathers funeral because he was trying to please an American girl who thought starting a fire in his fathers body too gross a sacrilege to contemplate.” It ends with Pranab Dasgupta, the Rockefeller of India, who can only describe himself as a very lonely, very rich, very guilty immigrant.” And in between is a cluster of remarkable characters, incensed by the conflict between personal desire and responsibility, who exhaust themselves in pursuit of the miraculous. Fearless and ferociously intelligent, these stories are vintage Blaise, whose outsiders view of the changing heart of America has always been ruthless and moving and tender.
A born storyteller. . . . A writer to savor.--The New York Times.
The Meagre Tarmac is master storywriter Clark Blaise's first new collection of short fiction in nearly two decades. A suite of linked stories about the trials and tribulations of several generations of Indo Americans, The Meagre Tarmac reminds readers why Blaise is one of the most important storywriters of his generation, and a true North American treasure. This is vintage Blaise: stories straddling borders, clashing cultures and traditions, poverty, affluence, despair, and hope, offering an outsider's view of the changing heart of America that is both ruthless and profoundly moving.
Clark Blaise is the author of eighteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including nine volumes of short stories. Born in North Dakota to Canadian parents and raised throughout both the United States and Canada, he has lived and taught in the United States for more than thirty years, working at more than a dozen universities, among them the University of Iowa, where he has taught in the Writers' Workshop and served as director of the international writing program. He currently teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. In recent years he has received both an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Order of Canada (a knighthood) for his contributions to literature. He currently lives in Berkeley, CA, with his wife, novelist Bharati Mukherjee.
The first new collection of short fiction in nearly 20 years by one of North America's masters.
An Indo-American Canterbury Tales
, by a North American master of short fiction.
About the Author
Clark Blaise (1940-), Canadian and American, is the author of 20 books of fiction and nonfiction. A longtime advocate for the literary arts in North America, Blaise has taught writing and literature at Emory, Skidmore, Columbia, NYU, Sir George Williams, UC-Berkeley, SUNY-Stony Brook, and the David Thompson University Centre. In 1968, he founded the postgraduate Creative Writing Program at Concordia University; he after went on to serve as the Director of the International Writing Program at Iowa (1990-1998), and as President of the Society for the Study of the Short Story (2002-present). Internationally recognized for his contributions to the field, Blaise has received an Arts and Letters Award for Literature from the American Academy (2003), and in 2010 was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Blaise now divides his time between New York and San Francisco, where he lives with his wife, American novelist Bharati Mukherjee.
Table of Contents
The Sociology of Love 7
In Her Prime 21
The Dimple Kapadia of Camino Real 34
Dear Abhi 44
Brewing Tea in the Dark
The Quality of Life 71
A Connie da Cunha Book 88
Waiting for Romesh 103
Potsy and Pansy 114
Man and Boy 150