Friday, January 24, 2014

Good Night, Mr. Kissinger and Other Stories by Dr. K. Anis Ahmed (Plus Kindle Edition)

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Book Description

Crowded and disordered, Dhaka city deals out blows and isolation - as well as success and epiphany - to the denizens who populate these nine stories. Dhaka's change from a sleepy provincial capital to a dysfunctional megalopolis is mirrored by characters who learn to face disappointments in love and ambition.

In “Chameli,” a boy falls for a neighborhood Punjabi girl in 1970; while in “Losing Ayesha,” scars of young love endure into adulthood. Dhaka's darker side emerges when an accountant accidentally triggers a mob beating; and a returning expatriate learns to navigate a city far more vicious and violent than the one he left. In the title story, a Bengali waiter is tempted to take revenge on an elder statesman. The final story is a parable of the city’s rise and fall, as a tycoon realizes there is no one to organize his sixtieth birthday party but himself.

Severed connections and the longing for understanding are at the heart of this moving set of stories. Employing spare but precise language that recalls Naipaul and Coetzee and vibrant evocations akin to Vargas Lllosa and Bolaño, these stories mark the debut of a strong new talent in the burgeoning scene of English writing in Bangladesh.