Saturday, Dec 03, 2022
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Black Treacle

Black Treacle

A stunning debut collection. Each of these stories is guaranteed to raise a sweat, a goose-pimple or at the very least, a guilty chuckle.

The writing in these fifteen short stories is spare, edgy and, I now realise, infectious: I see pimps behind every street lamp, regard all young women as whores and think no one’s innocent, not even the dogs.

Mehrotra writes with the assurance of a successful madame, knowing that each of his stories is guaranteed to raise a sweat, a goose-pimple or at the very least, a guilty chuckle. He benefits from the fact that Indian fiction typically concerns itself with the tourist-brochure genre of literature. By contrast, his surly louts and horny misfits become almost loveable exactly because they’re so desperately ugly.

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