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Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
Outlook.com
Review

A Gothic Patchwork

Jha's self-conscious, collegiate tone fails his thematic intention

A Gothic Patchwork
A Gothic Patchwork
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

In itself, the central idea of the novel is interesting: a small, middle-aged, middle-class man, both timid and faceless—the kind who merges with the crush of returning feet at six o clock—is forced to confront the disappointments and failures of his life by the appearance of a baby girl, the child of his dead sister thrust upon him in the still of night. Shaken out of his emotional torpor, the man decides to bequeath his history to the baby in anticipation of her need, one day, to know her own, and so settling her down in the room next to his, he proceeds to write his stories. Stories—both real and imagined—about his mother and his father, about himself, his sister, and the incestuous love that begot the sleeping child. And as he strains to sanctify that love, make it seem an act of beauty in an otherwise harsh and alienating world, the man weaves a phantasmagorical tale that blurs reality with fiction and is full of violence.

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