Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai

The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai  (Kindle, Flipkart, my user review on
4 stars
The Journey Is In the Evocative Stories, Not the Climax As Such
After reading these three stories, I felt a bit disappointed. After thinking a little bit, I realized that I was mistaking her novellas for some crime thrillers, that needed to have some nailbiting, cliffhanger climactic end. That is not the case. These novellas satisfied my need to read good quality writing.

There are three novellas here - "The Museum of Final Journeys", "Translator Translated", and "The Artist of Disappearance" - eponymous with the title. For my money I enjoyed the second story the most - the story about a middle aged woman who faithfully and lovingly and successfully translates the work of an Oriya language writer, but for the second translation casts a more critical eye ("more professional perhaps?") - "I began to wonder if publishing such a disappointing novel would be good for Suvarna Devi's reputation, which I had worked hard to establish."

The third one is the most abstract, so to say, but not without its moments of levity - "... there was no way they could carry their equipment down there: it was unfortunate that Nakhu was only partially and not completely a donkey." The prose is also sort of reminiscent of RK Narayan's writing perhaps...

Yes - I think I enjoyed the book as a whole. Satisfying in the way that stays with you after you have finished reading the book.

The Artist Of Disappearance

Kindle Excerpt

© 2011, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.