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Fish In A Dwindling Lake The body was the only truth she knew It was the body alone that was left, even as she went beyond the body Journeys form the leitmotif of these astonishing new stories by Ambai Sometimes culminating in an unconventional love affair, some are extraordinary tales of loyalty and integrity others touch on the almost fantastic, absurd aspect of Mumbai Yet others explore the notion of a wholesome self, and its tragic absence at times These stories are illuminated by vivid and unusual characters from an eccentric, penurious singer couple who adopt an ape as their son, to a male prostitute, who is battered by bimbos for not giving full satisfactionCrucially, some of the stories, like the title one, engage uninhibitedly with a woman s relationship to her body For Ambai, feminist par excellence, the sensual body, experienced as a natural landscape changing with age, is at the same time, the only vehicle of life and tool for mapping the external world A much deserved 5 stars This book is beautifully written and has everything that I want from a desi book It does not resort to unwanted romanticism and elaborate descriptions of nature to get it s point across The stories are just right in their length and the characters in it are very well drawn Reading the book was a breeze and I couldn t get enough of it Sadly, it had to end, but it has ignited a desire in me to read all the other books by the author.It seems to be really honest writing A much deserved 5 stars This book is beautifully written and has everything that I want from a desi book It does not resort to unwanted romanticism and elaborate descriptions of nature to get it s point across The stories are just right in their length and the characters in it are very well drawn Reading the book was a breeze and I couldn t get enough of it Sadly, it had to end, but it has ignited a desire in me to read all the other books by the author.It seems to be really honest writing that comes straight from the heart, no frills and no gimmicks It has an understated tone of feminism and a sense of justice but does not resort to established tropes or clich s to get the message across A really underrated book in my opinion, and one which I would happily recommend to everyone While browsing randomly at the iconic kitabkhanabooks at Colaba, I stumbled upon this transient section for womenintranslation Month and picked up the first book I saw I have hardly read much Indian translated books the one I remember was Ghachar Ghochar, a book translated from Kannada language that I read back in 2016 and I have always been curious about Indian authors who have excelled while writing in their local language Needless to say, this book caught my attention and hence I picke While browsing randomly at the iconic kitabkhanabooks at Colaba, I stumbled upon this transient section for womenintranslation Month and picked up the first book I saw I have hardly read much Indian translated books the one I remember was Ghachar Ghochar, a book translated from Kannada language that I read back in 2016 and I have always been curious about Indian authors who have excelled while writing in their local language Needless to say, this book caught my attention and hence I picked it up Ambai s stories originally written in Tamil are unconventional, and so are her female protagonists They dream, they travel, they think fondly of their unrequited love They are unapologetic, they are empathetic Some stories are just named as Journey 2 , Journey 3 etc while some are named after a forgotten lover There is exploration of female body, sexuality and sexual expression There are tragedies of Mumbai riots There is a non chalant campus romance here, and a unexplainable suicide there I am glad I picked it up I can say, I didn t choose this book, this book chose me a decent short story collection that are a bit of miss as they thematically play out quite similarly with minor changes to plot points However this is an excellent collection driven by characters motivations and ignoring the plot, the delivery is quite powerful.

  • Paperback
  • 176 pages
  • Fish In A Dwindling Lake
  • Ambai
  • English
  • 09 June 2019
  • 0143414054

About the Author: Ambai

Ambai is the nom de plume of Dr C.S Lakshmi, a historian and a creative writer in Tamil who writes about love, relationships, quests and journeys in the Tamil region and elsewhere Her stories have been translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom in two volumes entitled A Purple Sea and In a Forest, a Deer Ambai was awarded the Lifetime Literary Achievement Award of Tamil Literary Garden, University of Toronto, Canada, for the year 2008 An independent researcher in Women s Studies for the last thirty five years, Ambai is the author of several critical books and articles She is currently the Director of SPARROW Sound Picture Archives for Research on Women.


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