Poshan

Home »  Magazine »  Books  » Reviews  »  Li'l Charmers

Li'l Charmers

Such is the dexterity with which Basu writes that the 12 separate stories meld together to become a book of evocation.

Li'l Charmers
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
The Japanese Wife
By Kunal Basu
Harper Collins Pages: 202; Rs. 395
"She sent him kites." Thus begins the title story from Kunal Basu’s short fiction collection. It has been a long time since I have read an opening line laden with such a wealth of subtexts—yearning; separation; loss; secret lives. In many ways this line also perhaps embodies the leitmotif of the collection: the hidden and the covert.

In story after story, secrets underlie the foundation of the telling. The storyline and the characters owe their genesis to that which lies cloaked from the rest of the world. So if it is a tumour in one, it is a past life in another; a bastard child in yet another...and such is the dexterity with which Basu writes that the 12 separate stories meld together to become a book of evocation.

Sure, some stories work better than the others. As in any collection, there are stories that flag; characters that fail to work. And so if stories such as Snake Charmer and Lenin’s Cafe totter precariously; the sheer power and muscle of Long Live Imelda Marcos and The Accountant make up more than adequately.

More than anything else, Basu has a great talent for weaving in drama into the everyday. The kite fight in The Japanese Wife or the wrenching of the fish bone from the forest officer’s throat in Tiger! Tiger!...such scenes are what make the collection singular. In the end what one remembers is the splendid and the remarkable. And that glimmer of an acerbic wit.

Subscribe to Outlook’s Newsletter

READ MORE IN:
Next Story : Chapter, Verse & Watercolour
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
Online Casino Betway Banner





Advertisement
Advertisement