Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just add insult

I linked to this on Twitter earlier today, but Tehelka's second fiction issue is now online. I have to say it's a decidedly mixed bag: a couple of stories that are tone-deaf and frankly unreadable, and quite a few that while not bad, exactly, are fairly meh (see here, here and here).

Interestingly, the two translated stories - Charu Nivedita's Morgue Keeper and Gaurav Solanki's Beyond Fear - struck me as being among the best of the bunch, demonstrating both an inventiveness and an emotional depth largely missing from their English counterparts. Whether that says something about the gap between regional literature and Indian writing in English, or is just coincidence, I'll leave up to you.

My own favorite though (aside from this, obviously) was Kuzhali Manickavel's punchy, quick-witted and exhilarating Anarch. Now there's a voice I want to read more of.


Anonymous said...


The above is Kuzhali's blog.

km said...

I just commented on SB's blog about last year's rather uneven issue. Still, I will check this issue out, esp. for your story.

Veena said...

You have read Kuzali's Insects book I suppose? Stole it from SB when I was in Hyd last and it provided good entertainment on the flight back. While it wasn't exactly my kind of thing, I remember thinking that its exactly the kind of book that you, BM etc. would appreciate a lot.

And Cat keeps going on about Charu Nivedita all the time. Couldn't find the Zero Degree book, not even at the Landmark in Madras. Need to get hold of it soon or I'd have to make the effort to read it in original language!

Anonymous said...

LOVED your piece!

Falstaff said...

Anon: Thanks for the link.

km: Ya, I saw. The good thing is that they aren't repeating authors - which means one gets to sample people one hadn't read before. From an information perspective, a bad story is actually more useful than a good story.

Veena: No, I haven't. I'd heard of it but trying to find a copy was / is too much effort. Maybe on my next trip to India.

Anon2: I'm glad. Just out of curiosity, did you get the Job references?

Anirudh K said...

I liked Karan Mahajan's story though I feel that his explanation in the last two lines wasn't necessary and reduced the story to the explanation. Yes, Charu Nivedita was interesting too. I liked the first half of your story but the way it unwound itself and led to a pat conclusion was disappointing.

Aditi said...

The Insect book! I meant to add it to my should woulda coulda post, but forgot. She can write, which is so exciting. Someone told me where I can get her book, so I shall.