Erica M · Fiction · Short Stories

The Artist of Disappearance | by Anita Desai

The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, 176 pages)

This collection of short stories is melancholy but interesting. Set in India, the stories all explore people who have avoided the past, or have avoided making anything of themselves in the present. They all have regrets or something to hide from, although the thickly veiled stories make it hard to figure out what that is sometimes. The best story in the collection was about a young writer who translates a book from its native language into English, and is then disappointed by the author’s next work. Trying to rewrite the book, the translator effaces both herself and the author, and her career disappears.  This book was a nice change of pace from more straight forward narrative accounts, but requires quite a bit of interpretation by the reader.

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