"While all the short stories in this anthology are viable narratives, the two
that stand out from the lot, to my mind, are “Seiji” by George Polley and “The
Gourd Seller” by Abha Iyengar. Polley’s story is about an artist who grew up
and spent his life in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, Japan. With his intimate and
persistent grasp of the devastating violence in the aftermath of the Second
World War, the artist responds creatively to the given reality and looks beyond
the ravaged remains around him for light and life. Along another track of
violence, Iyengar’s story, set in the Indian city of Kanpur, depicts a Hindu
widow, Reena’s strange fascination for Altaf, the gourd seller, who falls victim
to communal violence. The story exudes the local aroma and ambience and the
literal translation of Reena’s outbursts has unmistakable Indian flavour."
~ Murari Prasad
B.N. Mandal University, India
on my story in this collection: A Rainbow Feast: New Asian Short
Stories.Mohammad A. Quayum, ed. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish International, 2010. 328 pp.
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